Blockade enters 5th day amid violence, police escort buses

The fourth day of countrywide blockade programme passed off amid stray incidents of violence of setting fire to and damaging vehicles, clashes between police and pro-blockade activists in different parts of the country leaving around 100 people injured.
The blockade has caused huge sufferings to the long distance passengers particularly the devotes of Biswa Ijtema. However, the movement of railway and waterways were almost normal during the blockade.
Police hauled up over 200 leaders and activists of the alliance from Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.BNP sources said police yesterday raided the Shajahanpur residence of BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas in the evening and carried out extensive search in the house.
The law enforcers also quizzed Afroza Abbas, wife of Mirza Abbas for his whereabouts, said Tanti Dal leader Jahangir Alam. Police however, denied it.
BGB sources said, Integrated Border and other law enforcement escort yesterday helped the safe movement of 2700 buses, emergency trucks, covered vans and other vehicles in different places in the country.
In Dhaka, Jamaat-Shibir activists staged demonstration at Mirpur section 11 by lighting fire on the street. Earlier in the morning they brought out a procession at Kajipara and vandalised some vehicles.
Chhatra Shibir tried to blockade of road at Badda and Shahjadpur at 9:00am.
The blockade programme on Friday wasmarked by violence of setting fire to vehicles and putting barricades on roads.
In Borga, police arrested at least five pro-blockade activists in Dhanut under Bogra district during a chase and counter chase at the Hukumali buses stand under Dhanut upazila. The aggrieved protesters vandalised a CNG run autorickshaw during the protest.
Police brought the situation under its control using rubber bullets.
In Narayanganj, at least five people were injured and eight vehicles were vandalised on Friday,  the fourth consecutive day of the countrywide non-stop blockade programme enforced by BNP-led 20-party alliance.
Meanwhile, miscreant’s torched a bus at Panchabati BISIC Industrial Area in Fatullah area around 9:30am, said said Manjur Kader, officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station in Narayanganj.
Local BNP led by Taimur Alam Khandaker, district unit  president, brought out a procession in support of the protest programme. A chase and counter chase took place between them and police.
Pickets pelted brick bats and vandalised around 8 to10 vehicles. They attempted to torch a truck there. Police dispersed the processionists and detained two BNP supporters, the police official said.
In Gaibandhga, criminals set fire to two trucks and vandalised 21 vehicles on Dhaka-Rangpur Highway at Maheshpur in Palashbari upazila during the countrywide indefinite transport blockade, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance.
Quoting local people, Gaibandha ASP Mosharraf Hossain said some pickets swooped on the vehicles speeding to Dhaka under police escort around 11:30 pm on Thursday.
At one stage, the blockaders vandalised 21 vehicles and set fire to two trucks. As police tried to resist them, a chase and counter-chase took place, triggering a clash that left 20 people injured.
Police fired several rounds of rubber bullets and lobbed teargas shells to disperse them. BNP chief Khaleda Zia called the countrywide indefinite blockade from Sunday as the government did not allow her party and allies to hold protest rallies in the capital.
In Jhenaidah, at least 10 activists of the opposition BNP’s students wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Jamaat backed Islami Chhatra Shibir at Sheikhpara Bazar under Shailkupa upazila of the district in the morning.
They were injured when the activists and police were locked in chase and counter chase when they were blocking the road burning tires on Jhenidah- Kushtia highway near the Islamic University. Additional police and BGB men were deployed to control the situation.
In Narsingdi, police arrested Narsingdi City BNP president AKM Golam kabir Kamal and assistant Organising secretary of Narsingdi City Unit BNP Thursday night.
Sadar thana police led by OC Abul Kashem and others force raided Brahmmandi area in Narsingdi town and arrested them.
OC said they were accused of cocktails hurled, damaged 12 vehicles at Jail gate area in Narsingdi town on January 8.
In Thakurgaon, police have detained 11 activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and the BNP & its associate organisations in different parts of the district in a 12-hour drive. The drive started at 06:00pm on Thursday and ended at 06:00am on Friday.
Superintendent of police in Thakurgaon Abdur Rahim Shah Chowdhury confirmed the incident to journalists. He told this correspondent that, on Friday afternoon the detainees were held in 5 upazilas of the district. Besides a huge number of police were deployed to  important areas of the district to avoid any distractive plan of blockade supporters SP added.
In Netrokona, a BRTC bus (Pabna-B-11-0436) plying on Netrokona-Khulna route Friday on January-8 was set on at about 9-30p.m at Nagra crossing in the District town.
According to OC Netrokona Model Thana S M Musudul Alam, miscreants after setting fire to the BRTC bus ran away.
Police super Netrokona MD Zakir Hussaen Khan informed that 12 Jamaat-BNP activists were arrested last midnight from many areas of the District with a view to keep the situation normal.
Khaleda Zia, who was confined to her Gulshan office, on Saturday called the countrywide non-stop blockade porogramme as the 20-party alliance was not allowed to hold a rally in front BNP headquarters in observance of January 5 poll that the alliance had boycotted calling it a ‘democracy killing day’. – Staff Reporter