Violent clashes between Hefazat-e-Islam men and Awami League (AL) activists on Saturday left one dead and over hundred injured in Dhaka and across the country.
Police said president of AL’s Nasirabad union unit in Faridpur, Nowsher Khan, 42, died when Hefazat supporters attacked him with sharp weapons. Around 20 people, including several police officers, were injured when men belonging to the Islamist group fought AL activists around 9am.
Trouble stemmed from clashes between groups opposed to Hefazat-e-Islam’s intended long-march to Dhaka. Police rounded up eight people for violence reported officer-in-charge of Bhanga police station Dadon Fakir.
In the capital, at least five people were injured when Hefazat supporters attacked supporters of Gonojagoron Moncho in Shahbagh around 5:45pm. The injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
The two groups came into conflict when Hefazet supporters were returning from their rally in Motijheel through Ramna Park. Police used teargas to disperse the crowd, but no arrests were made in connection with the attack on Shahbagh.
In separate incidences in Naya Paltan and Bijoynagar, journalists, including a female television reporter and a photographer were injured. Islamists are reported to have abused journalists, calling them ‘atheists’. Among those injured were Ekushey television’s Nadia Sharmin, Foyzul Alam Siddique of bdnews24.com, Mohosin Kabir and Khorshed Alam of SATV and freelance photographer Nazrul Islam.
While the four men were attacked earlier in the day, sometime in the afternoon, men who took part in the long-march assaulted Sharmin, questioning her right as a woman to be present at a predominantly male gathering.
In another incidence, several pro-hartal activists were injured when Hefazat supporters attacked the temporary Gonojagoron Moncho at Amtoli near Mohakhali flyover around 10:30am. Violence erupted when Hefazat supporters on their way to Motijheel allege they heard acting president of Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee Shahriar Kabir use "provocative and abusive" words about their programme.
In Rupganj, Narayanganj, at least a dozen were injured in violence between supporters of Hefazat and Sramik League, the AL’s labour branch, in the morning.
In Narsingdi’s Rupganj upazila over 50 people were injured when Hefazet supporters came into conflict with pro-hartal activists, who stopped buses going to Dhaka around 5am.