Dhaka streets turn violent; police constable killed in political clash

In Bangladesh, a police constable was killed and at least 41 cops were injured in clashes between law enforcers and BNP-Jamaat men in Dhaka’s Motijheel, Kakrail and Naya Paltan areas on Saturday.

Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) took out a grand rally in the Nayapaltan area of Dhaka to press home its one point demand. The BNP is pressing for the resignation of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government and handing over power to a non-partisan government to hold the next general election which is due in January, 2024.

The ruling Awami League also staged a "peace rally" today at the South gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque, around 1.5 km away from the BNP rally venue in Dhaka.

The police did not give permission to Jamaat e Islami to hold rallies in the city however, Jamaat took out rallies in the Arambagh area of Dhaka.

 Dhaka’s Nayapaltan turned into a battlefield following clashes between BNP men and members of the law enforcement agencies on Saturday (October 28, 2023) afternoon centering the party’s scheduled rally. Following the clashes, the grand rally of the BNP was suspended halfway through the programme.

At one stage of the clashes, BNP central leaders including its Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir left the stage and entered the party office in Nayapaltan. Before leaving the rally stage, Fakhrul has announced a dawn-to-dusk hartal across the country to protest “police attacks” on their leaders and activists and their grand rally at Nayapaltan on Saturday.

In response to the BNP,  Ruling Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has announced peace rallies across the country on Sunday while addressing a peace rally today at the south gate of Baitul Mukarram National Mosque.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Deputy Commissioner (Media) Faruk Hossain said that 22 injured policemen are undergoing treatment at Rajarbagh Police Hospital and 19 at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The BNP activists who were engaged in violence escaped the scene, and the situation is now under control, he added.

Earlier, a chase and counter-chase between police and BNP leaders, activists occurred in Dhaka’s Kakrail area. Witnesses said leaders and activists of BNP brought out a procession in the Kakrail area and started going towards InterContinental hotel around 1 pm. At one stage, police obstructed them, and BNP leaders, activists started throwing brick chips at the law enforcers. Later, police fired rubber bullets, used sound grenades and tear gas shells to disperse them.




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