At least 23 people, including two policemen and a member of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), were killed and around 300 others injured in clashes between the activists of Hefajat-e-Islam and law enforcers in Narayanganj, Chittagong and Bagerhat districts on Monday.
In Narayanganj, 17 people, including two policemen and a BGB member, were killed and over 200 others injured, 100 with bullets, in a series of clashes between the activists of Hefajat-e-Islam and police in Sadar upazila.
At least 35 vehicles were also vandalised and torched on a three-km area from Kanchpur to Signboard during the violence.
Law enforcers fired several thousand rubber bullets, Chinese rifle bullets and teargas shells and sound grenades to bring the situation under control.
The deceased cops were identified as constable Zakaria Mollah, 44, son of late Akbar Ali of Baliapara village in Bhanga upazila, and Nayek Feroz Khan, 53, son of Kanchan Khan of Nayapara village in Alfadanga upazila of Faridpur district. The deceased BGB man is Shah Alam.
All of the other deceased are passersby.
Ten of them are Saiful Islam, 35, a salesman of a cloth shop in the city and son of late Hasem Contractor of Painadi in Siddhirganj; Polash, 25, owner of a workshop at Madaninagar; Jasim Uddin, 30, a bus helper; Zahidul Islam Saurav, 17, an HSC examinee and son of Enamul of Nimaikashari Baghmara in Siddhirganj; Masum, 30; Hannan, 35, in-charge of iron department of Al Amin Sweater Factory at Siddhirganj; Babu Gazi, 36, a bus driver and a resident of Naria in Shariatpur; Sadeque, 32, son of Rais Miah of Demra who used to supply filtered water to different shops; Habibullah, a rickshaw-puller and son of Abul Munshi of Jarchara in Kachua of Chandpur; and truck helper Mizanul Haque.
Rumours have it that Dania College student Badhan, 17, Bada, 17, of Rani Mohal in Demra and Khaled, 28, of Dogair in Demra were also killed in the clashes.
On information that Hefajat men took shelter at Madaninagar Madrasah, a joint force drawn from police, Rapid Action Battalion and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) tried to conduct a raid on the institution around 6 am.
At one stage, the madrasah students urged locals on the mikes of its mosque to resist the law enforcers. The clash ensued when hundreds of locals with sticks and other locally-made weapons attacked the joint force in response to the call.
Later, the clashes spilled over into the three-km area from Kanchpur to Signboard and continued till the afternoon.
Of the injured, two BGB members–Shah Alalm and Lablu– and five policemen–constables Zakaria, Pannu Mia, Lavlu and Harunur Rashid, and Nayek Feroz, Armed police sub-inspector Solaiman –were rushed to Dhaka Medical College Hospital where Shah Alam, Zakaria and Feroz were pronounced dead by doctors.
The unruly activists of the Islamist group also attacked Siddhirganj Power Station and Kanchpur police camp during the clash.
Several journalists and photojournalists also came under attack by the Hefajat men during the violence.
The unruly Hefajat men beat Jugantar photojournalist Shamim Nur and vandalised his motorcycle when he tried to take photos in front of Madaninagar Madrasah. They also manhandled Jugantar Fatullah correspondent Javed Ahmed Jewel when he came in the help of Shamim.
A vehicle of ‘Channel i’ was set on fire while its cameraman Habib was beaten and his camera and laptop were taken away.
Banglanews24.com Narayanganj correspondent Tanvir Hossain, local journalist Imran, photojournalists Saurav Laskar of New Age, Mehedi Hasan Sajib of Daily Samakal, Mohammad Kaiyum of local Desher Alo, Taposh Saha of Ittefaq, Shipon Ahmed of Focus Bangla and Bishal Ahmed were also attacked by the unruly Hefajat men.
The injured were rushed to different hospitals and clinics.
Seven platoons of BGB have been deployed in the area to maintain the law and order, said deputy commissioner Manojkanti Boral.
Claiming the situation was now under control, police super Syed Nurul Islam said traffic resumed on Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Sylhet highways around 2pm.
In Chittagong, five people were killed and 30 others injured in a clash between Hefajat-e-Islam activists and law enforcers in Hathazari upazila in the afternoon.
The deceased were identified as Mamun Miah, teacher of a local kindergarten and hailed from Rajshahi, Mohammad Hanif, 35, Jasim Uddin, 30, Mohammad Noman, 26, and Mohammad Mamun, 24, of the upazila.
Witnesses said the Hefajat men blocked Rangamati-Khagrachhari road at Medical Gate in the morning protesting the raid on Shapla Chattar in the capital removing the Hefajat men.
The clash ensued when police asked them to withdraw the blockade around 3pm.
A chase and counter-chase took place between the Hefajat men and the law enforcers comprising police and members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), Border Guard Bangladesh and Armed Police Battalion during the melee.
At one stage, the law enforcers fired several gunshots to disperse them, leaving three killed on the spot and others injured.
The injured were rushed to Chittagong Medical College Hospital where Jasim and Noman died around 5:30 pm.
Traffic on Rangamati-Khagrachhari road came to a halt following the incident.
Nizam Uddin, assistant superintendent of police (Hathazari Circle), said the situation remained under control and a huge number of law enforcers were patrolling in the area to fend off further untoward incident.
In Bagerhat, a Hefajat man was killed and 41 people, including 25 cops, were injured in a clash between police and the Islamist group supporters at Kathaltala in Fakirhat upazila in the afternoon, said Pankaj Chandra Roy, acting police super of Bagerhat.
The clash ensued when police tried to disperse several hundred activities of Hefajat-e-Islam, including female ones, when they were blocking Bagerhat-Khulna highway by placing logs and lampposts around 2pm.
A chase and counter-chase took place between the two groups. The Hefajat men also pelted the law enforcers with brickbats, leaving at least 25 policemen injured.
At one stage, police fired several gunshots and charged baton on the Hefajat men, leaving the unidentified man killed on the spot and 16 others, including two journalists, injured.