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A bus set on fire during shutdown in Bangladesh. (File Photo)

20-party’s 5th day hartal passes off amid stray violence

The fifth day of the 120-hour nationwide hartal, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance demanding a fresh national election under a non-party administration, alongside its ongoing countrywide indefinite transport blockade, passed off with stray incidents of violence on Thursday, reports UNB.   The shutdown programme that was enforced at 6am on Sunday will end 6am Friday.  Incidents of violence like crude bomb blasts, torching of public vehicles and the arrest of pickets were reported from different parts of the country, including Dhaka, during the hartal hours.

In the capital,four people — Anwar Hossain Amin, 50, Kajol, 32, Rasel, 32, and Al Amin, 20, a first-year honours student of Khilgaon Model University College, and Alamgir, 26 — suffered injures as miscreants exploded three crude bombs in Bango Bazar areas of the city around 9:45 pm.  They were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Besides, a crude bomb went off in Fakirapool intersection around 9:00 am, injuring a man, Alamgir.  Law enforcers in separate drives arrested over 70 people, including leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir, for ‘sabotage plan’ from different places of the country, including the capital, Khulna, Chapainawabganj and Sirajganj districts, till Thursday evening.

Of the arrestees, members of the Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested two central leaders of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) with 20 cocktails in the city’s Gabtali area on Wednesday night.  Police detained a youth in front of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s office around 2:40pm with a slogan ‘Want Sheikh Hasina’s Resignation inscribed on his bare chest and another ‘Want Emancipation of Democracy’ on his back.   In Bogra, miscreants set afire a bus at Charmtha Bhaber Bazar on the Dhaka-Bogra highway in the district town on Wednesday night.

In Feni, miscreants torched a local land office at Radhanagar in Chhagalnaiya upazila around 3:15pm.   While its 72-hour nationwide hartal was scheduled to end at 6.00am on Wednesday, the alliance on Tuesday extended it by 48 hours till 6.00am Friday.  The 20-party also had enforced hartal for five consecutive days from Sunday in the last three weeks, forcing the authorities concerned to reschedule the Secondary Scholl Certificate (SSC) examinations that fell during the hartal hours.

BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia enforced the blockade for an indefinite period on January 5 after having failed to come out of her Gulshan office to join a planned rally of the 20-party alliance in the city to mark ‘Democracy Killing Day’.

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