At least 30 people were injured as Dhaka College students fought pitched battles with traders in the capital’s New Market area this afternoon. The traders alleged that around 40 shops were ransacked at the two-storey Dhanmondi Hawkers Market, four motorcycles torched and some 10 vehicles vandalised during the two-hour clash.
Following the clash, traders shuttered around seven markets in the area and traffic movement came to a standstill for hours, causing huge congestion on the roads in the nearby areas. During the clash that started around 3:15pm, both the students and traders pelted brick chips at each other, leaving the road littered with fractions of bricks.
Police used sound grenade, rubber bullets and teargas to bring the situation under control. All this happened over buying sarees from the hawkers market around 3:15pm. Traders alleged that two boys along with a woman and a child went to a shop from the market, chose three shares and wanted to leave the shop without paying the price of the saress which was Tk 60,000. They told the shopkeepers that they were from Dhaka College and had power in the city.
He said around 20 traders were injured in the clash. The four left the shop after the angry shopkeepers hurled abusive language at them. Around 20 minutes later, some 25 Dhaka College students returned in a group with local weapons including iron rods and matches and vandalised and looted around 40 shops at the market, Haji Md Khorshed Alam, joint general secretary of market’s shop owners, told journalists.
Later, around 500 students and 1,000 traders joined in the clash. They pelted bricks chips, and chased each other during the scuffle. Jasim Uddin, additional police commissioner (Ramna zone), said that they fired around 50 rounds of rubber bullets, sound grenades and tear gas canisters to bring the situation under control.
The traffic movement became normal after 5:00pm, he added. At least seven of the injured were taken to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital for treatment, Inspector Mozammel Haque, in-charge of DMCH police camp told this correspondent, agencies report.