Violence in four districts kills 9

Lalmonirhat clash

At least nine people were killed in Lalmonirhat, Joypurhat, Lakshmipur and Sylhet districts in violence during a daylong countrywide hartal enforced by the Jamaat-e-Islami yesterday. Jamaat-e-Islami and Islami Chhatra Shibir activists stabbed an Awami League activist to death, hours after three Shibir men were killed in sporadic clashes with the lawmen in Patgram upazila of Lalmonirhat. In other incidents, the clashes between Jamaat-Shibir and cops left three people dead in Joypurhat, a Jubo League man was hacked to death in Sylhet and a Chhatra league leader in Lakshmipur. There were also incidents of looting passengers before torching vehicles, uprooting rail tracks, vandalising residences and business establishments belonging to Awami League supporters and minorities across the country by Jamaat-Shibir men. In the capital, Shibir burnt an auto-rickshaw at Matuail and clashed with cops at Mughda, Bangla Bazar and Shyampur. The Lalmonirhat violence began around 7:30am at Kafirbazar when Jamaat-Shibir men were locked in a gunfight with police. Several groups of Shibir activists attacked a nearby village mostly inhabited by Hindus. They set fire to seven houses of the minority people and also two houses of two local Jatiya Party leaders. Lalmonirhat Additional Superintendent of Police Aslam Khan said: “They cordoned off the area we were in and hurled crude bombs at us.” “We opened fire for self-defence.” The dead Shibir activists were Monirul Islam, 28, president of Patgram upazila Shibir unit, Abdur Rahim, 30, and Saju Islam, 24. The Awami League man who was stabbed to death was Mintu Islam, 33. The upazila administration imposed section 144 to avert any untoward situation. In Joypurhat, three people were killed and eight others received bullet wounds when police opened fire on Jamaat-Shibir men engaged in a clash with the lawmen around 4:30pm. The dead were Samim Hossain, 25, Insan Ali, 22, and Firoz Hossain, 30, a rickshaw puller. Jamaat claimed Firoz as their activist. Section 144 had been imposed in the district from 5pm yesterday to 6am today, said Mohammad Yasin, deputy commissioner of Joypurhat. Around 3:30pm, hundreds of Jamaat-Shibir men blocked the road of Puranpoul union’s Bazar and hurled petrol bombs at Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank. In the second phase, the troublemakers reinforced themselves and gathered near Halutti village. They barricaded a road there. As police, Rab and BGB appeared there, the pro-hartal supporters operated an attack prompting the lawmen to retaliate, said Additional Police Superintendent Abdul Mannan. In Lakshmipur’s Raipur upazila, miscreants hacked to death district unit BCL Organising Secretary Miraj Hossain, 28, and cut throats of two Jubo League men, Maksud and Rana, yesterday afternoon. In Sylhet, Jubo League activist Nazrul Islam, 35, was killed in Kanaighat upazila around midnight on his way back home with two party men. In Pirgachha of Rangpur, more than 100 masked men held four on-duty Ansar members at gun point and uprooted 252 feet rail tracks. In Chandpur, pickets torched three vehicles including a passenger bus at Khejuria on Chandpur-Comilla regional highway around 5am. They looted the passengers before setting the bus on fire. In Gazipur’s Lakshmipura area, pickets hurled petrol bomb at a moving bus leaving its helper Tareque, 14, injured. In Rajshahi, hundreds of Jamaat-Shibir activists in several groups attacked on the lawmen at five points simultaneously. In Pirojpur, Shibir men burnt down a two-storey wooden house of Bidhan Chandro Mistry, Awami League president of Sikder Mollik union, in Dakkhin Gubtawla village under Sadar upazila. In Feni, unknown miscreants torched the district Jamaat office early yesterday. They also set fire to some shops owned by Jamaat leaders. – See more at: