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Dhaka Tribune

Opposition men reject schedule with violence, one killed

Update : 25 Nov 2013, 08:38 PM

Leaders and activists of the BNP-led opposition alliance on Monday violently protested the announcement of the polls schedules around the country by blockading highways, vandalising vehicles and exploding crude bombs.

Many, including law enforcers, were injured in clashes between opposition men and police. Border Guard Bangladesh personnel were deployed at different places including Dhaka, Bogra and Sylhet.

As soon as the chief election commissioner finished announcing that the 10th parliamentary election would be held on January 5, opposition men brought out processions, blasted crude bombs and vandalised vehicles in various parts of the country. They also torched buses, trucks and auto rickshaws.

In Dhaka, at least seven vehicles were set on fire and many others were ransacked soon after the polls schedule was announced. Crude bombs were exploded sporadically in and around the capital making people panic.

According to the Fire Service and Civil Defense, buses were torched in the capital’s Pallabi, Mirpur, Jatrabari, Abdullahpur, Gabtoli, Khilgaon and Bangla Motor areas.

Fire service officer Jibon Miah told the Dhaka Tribune that all the vehicles were set on fire from 8pm-9:45pm.

Moreover, a number of cases of vehicles vandalised have been reported from Uttara, Abdullahpur, Paltan, Bongshal, Hatirpool, Badda, Mohakhali while crude bombs were exploded at Mohamadpur, Tejgaon, Mohakhali Police outpost, Badda, Paltan and some other places.

Police fired several rounds of blank shots when bombs exploded near the Mohakhali police outpost around 7:30pm.

All the incidents took place despite a large number of BGB, Rab and additional police members being deployed.

In Comilla, a 25-year-old youth was killed during an 18-party alliance procession, brought out in protest of the CEC’s announcement at Kandirpar under Kotwali police station in Comilla.

Officer-in-Charge Md Mahiuddin Mahmud of Kotwali police station confirmed the death of the youth identified as Delwar Hossain. He said the youth was killed after a bomb had hit his head and exploded during a procession of the 18-party alliance around 8:30pm.

However, the OC said they were not yet sure whether the youth was an auto-rickshaw driver or an activist of the 18-party alliance.

Elsewhere in Chandpur, BNP leaders and activists blockaded highway to protest the EC decision, reports our correspondent in Comilla. Agitated leaders also vandalised some vehicles, resulting in long cues on either side of the highway. Protestors set a covered van on fire at Chaddagram in Comilla.

Lalmonirhat-Kurigram and Rangpur-Kurigram roads were blockaded by BNP men at Barabari and Burir Bazar areas in Lalmonirhat district headquarters from 8pm last night. More than fifty vehicles, including passenger buses and loaded trucks, remained stranded on the roads because of the blockade.

A Dhaka bound bus was torched by BNP men at Mission Intersection in Lalmonirhat town around 9:10pm. Local residents said police did not take any action although the arson took place right in front of their eyes.

Lalmonirhat district Jatiya Party office was set on fire allegedly by BNP men at the BDR road in the town around 9pm.

In Chittagong, activists blockaded three points at Satkania on the Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway.

Opposition men also put up barricades on the Pabna-Dhaka, Natore-Dhaka, Raipur-Dhaka and Dhaka-Rangpur highways.

In Khulna, leaders and activist vandalised vehicles from a procession at Fulbarigate.

In Barguna, protesters clashed with police in which 15 people, including five policemen, were injured.

In Mymenshingh, handmade bombs were blasted in front of the residence of Rawshan Ershad, a member of the newly formed interim cabinet.

In Habiganj, 18-party leaders and activists chased and counter chased with police, leaving 15 people, including a policeman, injured.

In Nilphamari, the BNP’s student front Chhatra Dal brought out a procession and vandalised vehicles.

Around 50 crude bombs were blasted at different parts of the Brahmanbaria district township. 

Crude bombs were blasted in front of the residence of the vice-chancellor of Sylhet Science and Technology University.

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