Some 15 people have been injured in a violent clash between villagers and law enforcers over the control of a piece of land at Bahubal upazila in Habiganj.
Among the injured, four were shot and are in critical conditions. They were immediately taken to Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College while others were being treated at Habiganj Sadar Hospital.
The clash began when police prevented the villagers from building houses on a piece of government owned land at Sundratiki village. At one stage, the law enforcers fired shots at the villagers to disperse them.
The situation was still tense in the region and additional police have been deployed to keep the situation under control.
Bahubal police station OC Md Mashuk Ali said the villagers attacked the law enforcers while they were protecting the land.
Police were forced to shoot blanks in self defence, he claimed.
A villager, Oliur Rahman, said: “That land has been part of the village for decades. The local administration recently violated the court’s stay order and handed it over to a company. The villagers were protesting this violation and the police dealt with it violently by opening firing arms.”
Bahubal upazila Chairman Kamruzzaman Bashir said: “The villagers were angry about a local company leasing the government land, and tried to build houses there which was prevented by the police and that is when the clash broke out.”
Bahubal Upazila Nirbahi Officer Md Jasim Uddin said police was deployed to prevent the villagers from constructing structures on a land owned by the government.
“Police were forced to fire bullets while the villagers attacked them,” he claimed.