The first hours of the 84-hour nationwide hartal, enforced by BNP-led 18-party alliance, was marked by stray incidents of crude bomb blasts and arson in different parts of the country on Sunday. In the capital, a bus was torched by some pickets at Mirpur around 6 am. However, fire fighters doused the fire within a short time, reports UNB. Meanwhile, hartal supporters vandalised a CNG-run autorickshaw in Merul Badda around 6 am. Police arrested a picket from the spot. Besides, more than a dozen of crude bombs were blasted at Mohakhali wireless gate, Demra, Malibagh crossing, Lalbagh, Mirpur, Tejkunipara in the first few hours of the hartal. Educational institutions and shopping malls remained closed, but government and non-government offices in the capital were open with thin attendance. Rickshaws and auto-rickshaws dominated the city streets during hartal hours as there was a little number of motorised vehicles available for the city commuters. Huge law enforcers guarded the city streets to avoid any untoward incident. Meanwhile our Laxmipur correspondent reports: pickets blasted at least 20 crude bombs in front of Adarsha Samad High School, Uttar bus stand, Dakkhin Temuhni and Alia Madrasa area of the district town in the morning. Earlier, activists of BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami brought out processions and blocked the roads in support of hartal in different areas of the town. The BNP-led 18-party alliance called the shutdown to force the current regime for arranging the next election under a non-party administration. The hartal programme will end at 6pm on Wednesday. BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir called a 72-hour shutdown —from Sunday 6am to Wednesday 6am— at a press conference at the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office on Friday after a secretary general-level meeting of the 18-party alliance. As the government arrested five senior BNP leaders following the hartal call, the 18-party alliance on Saturday extended its 72-hour nationwide hartal by 12 hours to 6pm Wednesday in protest against the government’s move. Earlier, the 18-party enforced two spells of 60-hour countrywide shutdown –October 27 to October 29 and November 4 to November 6—to push for the same demand that left 20 people dead and over 8,000 people injured across the country.
Source: BD Chronicle