• Wednesday, Sep 26, 2018
  • Last Update : 02:18 am

Sporadic clashes, detentions across Bangladesh in lukewarm response to Khaleda conviction

Sporadic clashes, detentions across Bangladesh in lukewarm response to Khaleda conviction
Sporadic clashes between supporters of BNP and Awami League and police have occured in different districts across Bangladesh centring the verdict that has sent BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia to jail in the Zia Orphanage Trust corruption case. Police on Thursday also detained many BNP leaders and activists who were out in force in various districts voicing their discontent at the verdict against their leader. Amid much tension, a special court convicted former prime minister Khaleda Zia and sentenced her to five years' imprisonment in the much-talked-about graft case. Five others accused in the case, including her son and BNP Senior Vice-Chairman Tarique Rahman, were sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment each. The court also fined the five accused Tk2.10 crore each. Apprehending violence, most public and private transports had kept off city roads during the day, while major roads and highways across the country were also free of traffic. Many shops and business establishments also waited till evening before opening for business as traders feared chaos, while attendance in educational institutes was below normal. In Sylhet, at least five people, including a police constable, were injured during a clash between Awami League and BNP activists in Court Point area of Sylhet metropolitan around 2:30pm on Thursday, immediately after the verdict. Several vehicles were vandalized in different areas, including Laldighipar, of the city at the time. Another clash took place between the supporters of BNP and the ruling party at Jindabazar Point arond 3:30pm. In Chittagong, BNP’s Chittagong city unit President Shahadat Hossain and several other activists were detained after a skirmish with police in front of the party's office in the morning. Witnesses said BNP activists had hurled brickbats at police without any provocation. But police launched baton charges at the attackers and took control of the situation quickly by dispersing them. [caption id="attachment_245761" align="aligncenter" width="800"] BNP activists brought out a sudden procession in Nilphamari town that crossed important city points including Moral Sangha Mor on Thursday | Dhaka Tribune[/caption] In Khulna, police detained five BNP leaders and activists from in front of the party's city office around 11am. Later, after the verdict was delivered, police picked up BNP Joint General Secretary Tariqul Islam along with a Chhatra Dal leader from the stairs of the office. In Nilphamari, police dispersed a sudden procession of BNP supporters at Kalibari Mor around 3:30pm. The party's supporters had also brought out several protest processions at other parts of the town in the afternoon. In Moulvibazar, BNP and Chhatra Dal activists brought out separate processions at Shamsernagar Road and Kusumbagh areas protesting Khaleda's sentencing. They vandalized a bus and a battery-run auto-rickshaw at Purbo Girzapara aruond 4pm. In Noakhali, at least six people were injured when police opened fire at a protest procession of BNP activists at Datter Haat Bazar of the district town around 3pm. BNP activists also brought out another procession at Noakhali court premises around the same time. In Jamalpur, BNP and its affiliated organizations brought out several processions at important points of the district town as well as in all upazilas. [caption id="attachment_245765" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Police foiled several protests by BNP activists at several points in Jamalpur town on Thursday | Dhaka Tribune[/caption] Police detained Chhatra Dal's Sharishabari municipal unit President Masud Rana in the afternoon when he was leading a protest procession in the municipal area. In Gaibandha, police fired three rounds of rubber bullets to foil a Mohila Dal procession when they were crossing the Government Women's College Thursday afternoon. In Habiganj, another protest of BNP activists at Sayestanagar was also thwarted around 3pm by police when they fired teargas shells and rubber bullets. Chhatra League activists chased BNP activists away when they attempted to bring out another procession from the same area about an hour later. Police also detained two BNP activists from the spot.