Protest against Modi visit continues

500 injured in B’desh violence

Dhaka, March 29: At least 500 people were injured as violence swept Bangladesh amid a nationwide dawn-to-dusk shutdown called by Islamist groups Hefazat-e-Islam and the banned Jamaat-e-Islami on Sunday, officials said.

An official of the Ministry of Home Affairs said at least 500 innocent people injured by the militants’ attacks, while a case accusing 500 Hefazat members of violence was filed on Sunday evening, but no one has been arrested yet, Abu Bakar Siddique, officer in charge of Paltan Police station, told IANS.

The shutdown was enforced by Hefazat-e-Islam in Dhaka, Sylhet, Chittagong, Kishoreganj, Norshingdi, Narayanganj, Brahman Baria, Chittagong, Sylhet, Rajshahi and other districts.

Narayanganj Madaninagar Madrasha students blocked the Dhaka-Chittagong highway by burning tires from Sanarpar to Shimrail crossing in the morning, disrupting road communications to Chittagong and Sylhet.

In Sylhet, Jaamat members, moving under the Hefazat banner, brought out processions in different parts and several crude bombs were also exploded. Four people were arrested, but police declined to comment.

Due to the countrywide strike, no buses left Sylhet bus stand since the morning, while Hefazat activists, sporting sharp weapons, bamboo staffs and iron rods, obstructed traffic at every entrance point.

According to four injured journalists of Noakhali, the Hefazat brought out a procession in support of the shutdown at Chaumuhani Chowrasta and suddenly attacked the office of Noakhali TV Journalists Forum.

More than 50, including 10 policemen and nearly two dozen members of the ruling Awami League, were injured in Kishoreganj, during the protest. Hefazat attacked the party office on Station Road, and vandalised it, including its signboard and the photos of Bangabandhu and Sheikh Hasina.

Police lobbed teargas shells and fired blank shots to disperse the clashing groups, and additional personnel of police, the BGB and RAB have been deployed in the district.