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At least 70 people were injured in Wednesday’s clashes between activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir, and the police guarding a BNP-sponsored hartal in Dhaka.
Jamaat-Shibir men attacked policemen with homemade bombs which forced them to retaliate, turning the otherwise peaceful BNP rally violent, a Daily Star report said.
Following the clash, BNP leaders called for a nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal on Thursday in protest against what it alleged were attacks by armed Awami League party men and police brutality towards its activists, the report said.
“Ruling party men attacked our peaceful demonstration in connivance with the police without any provocation. It’s part of the Government’s conspiracy to foil our programme. We are stunned by the incident,” BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said.
He claimed that 1,500 BNP leaders and activists were injured in the incident.
BNP activists resorted to vandalism, torching of vehicles and pelted law enforcers with brick chips outside its headquarters in Dhaka in response to the violence.
Several leaders of the BNP suffered rubber bullet injuries during the violence and others took shelter inside the party’s office.
Almost immediately after the BNP hartal was called, the Jamaat-e-Islami, whose top leaders are behind bars in connection with committing crimes against humanity, issued a press statement calling for a nationwide hartal on Thursday.
Bangladesh has witnessed a deadly spate of Jamaat-sponsored terror since last Thursday, when the vice-president of the party Delawar Hossain Sayedee was sentenced to death by a war crimes tribunal for crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.