Dozens held after police, BNP clash

The police on Tuesday reportedly detained several dozens of Bangladesh Nationalist Party people as activists of the party and members of the law enforcement agency engaged in a clash in front of the BNP central office at Naya Paltan following a party rally.

BNP claimed that more than one hundred of its activists were picked up by the police in Paltan area while the police said that they detained 44.

Police personnel and BNP activists chased and hurled brickbats at each other during the half-an-hour clash that spread from the party office to the Nightingale crossing at Bijoynagar and adjacent areas.

Party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, however, claimed that over 100 BNP leaders and  activists were detained from their procession.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Motijheel division additional deputy commissioner Enamul Haque said that the police detained 44 people after the clash.

He said that filing a case in this connection was under way.

After the clash, DMP Police Motijheel division deputy commissioner Abul Ahad said that BNP activists attacked the police without any provocation after a rally.

The police had to stop the party activists from bringing out the procession, he added.

According to the police officer, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir ended the rally with his speech and asked the party activists not to bring out any procession, but they disobeyed the instruction and brought out the procession.

They also attacked the police, said DC Ahad.

The police were compelled to charge batons on them, he added.

The police also fired several rounds of tear gas shells to disperse the gathering.

A number of BNP people and at least six cops were injured during the clash, according to the police.

The BNP organised the rally in front of the party office to voice protests against the sectarian attacks and the hike in commodity prices, according to Mirza Fakhrul. Top party leaders addressed the rally.

Soon after the clash, Fakhrul blamed the police for the clash saying that the police had started arresting BNP leaders and activists since morning.

He demanded an immediate release of the detained party leaders and activists.

Addressing a press conference at the BNP central office, Rizvi said that about 15 leaders and activists of the BNP and its front organisations were injured in the police attack.

Addressing the rally, Fakhrul also asked the government to hand over power to a non-party neutral government.

‘We would like to clearly say it that a change in the government has now become a demand of the people. The Awami League has no right to stay in power as they could not solve any problem. They have now resorted to communal violence and are violating human rights,’ he said.

The Awami League government, he went on, has made the lives of people miserable with their misrule and repressive acts.

The BNP had been scheduled to bring out a ‘peace rally’ towards the National Press Club from its Nayapaltan central office at 11:00am.

As the government deployed a huge number of police members in Nayapaltan area in the morning, the BNP general secretary, after addressing the brief rally in front of their party office, announced that the programme was over.

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