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40 injured in AL, BNP clash in Sirajganj

  • Published at 06:23 pm December 8th, 2019
Map of Sirajganj district

Police and witnesses said the clash erupted at around 11:30am on Sunday

At least 40 people were injured, ten of them critically, in a clash between the supporters of Awami League and BNP at the Kalibari-Illiot Bridge road adjacent to Sirajganj Govt College.

Police and witnesses said the clash erupted at around 11:30am on Sunday, when a celebratory procession held by the college, joined by almost a thousand people and supporters of Awami League (AL) , was eventually crossing a Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) protest, happening at the Pouro Bhashani Milonayanton. 

At one stage, the supporters of the two parties had an altercation that led to a fierce clash between them, leading to chaos. They used local weapons and hurled brickbats at each other during the clash that lasted for almost two hours, leaving 40 people from both sides injured.

The clashing groups also set ablaze BNP's office and ransacked several shops around the area where the incident took place. 

Photo shows two picketers holding local weapons during the clash between Awami League and BNP supporters in Sirajganj on Sunday, December 8, 2019 | Dhaka Tribune

On information, Police from Sirajganj Sadar Police Station rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control by firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Two of their members, Sub-inspector Tarikul Islam and Abu Zafar were also injured as they misfired.

The two parties blamed each other for the clash and reportedly 20 AL supporters, 18 BNP supporters were injured.

The injured were admitted to the Sirajganj Sadar Hospital and different clinics in the town. Of them, the condition of ten were stated to be critical, hospital sources said.

Public Relations Officer of Sirajganj police and Additional Superintendent of Police Abu Yousuf  blamed BNP supporters for spurring the clash and said: "Additional police have been deployed at the bazaar to avert any further incidents."

Acting General Secretary of Sirajganj Awami League, MP Dr Habibe Millat Munna said: "We were in the procession which was organized by the college to celebrate the victory month."

"This was not even a political march and yet BNP activists brutally attacked us, we want proper punishment to be ensured," he added.

Meanwhile, Sirajganj Joint Secretary of BNP, Harun-or-Rashid claimed AL activists attacked their peaceful protest regarding Khaleda Zia's confinement in jail and said: "The AL activist attacked us with local weapons and even set ablaze the party office."

"But when the police came, they fired tear cells and rubber bullets to only BNP activists instead. The law enforcement is biased, faulty like the government and we have nowhere to go to get justice," he added.