Stray violence mark 1st day of hartal, 200 activists arrested

The first day of the 72-hour nationwide hartal, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance alongside its ongoing nonstop transport blockade demanding restoration democracy and people’s voting right, passed off amid stray incidents of violence on Sunday.
The shutdown programme that began at 6:00am on Sunday will end at 6:00am on Wednesday.
Incidents of violence like torching vehicles and crude bomb blasts, and the arrest of pickets were reported from different parts of the country, including the capital.In the capital, three crude bombs were exploded near the secretariat and Bidyut Bhaban in the capital. Besides, four crude bombs, two on the North South Road in Siddik Bazar and two others in front of Suritola Model Government Primary School on the North South Road in the old part of Dhaka, were set off in the morning. However, no one was injured in the blasts.
A large number of law enforcers remained deployed in different parts of the city. Police and detectives detained at least 32 leaders and activists of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir on charge of ‘sabotage plan’ from different parts of the city during .
Plainclothes police picked up BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s adviser Mosaddek Ali Falu in front of her Gulshan office around 7:45pm as soon as he came out of there.
Deputy Commissioner (Media) of DMP Masudur Rahman said a team of Detective Branch (DB) police arrested Ainul Haque, joint secretary of Jatiyatabadi Samajik Sangskritik Sangstha (Jasas) from Mirpur area in the city early in the morning.
Besides, a team of Bangshal Police Station arrested Mosharraf, a leader of the city’s 68-no. ward unit BNP, from Bangshal area at the same time.
Nur-e-Alam, 40, who suffered burn injuries in a petrol bomb attack on a bus by picketers in the city’s Jatrabari area on January 23 died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).
At least eight vehicles were torched and 11 others vandalised on the 27th day of blockade and on the first day of the 72-hour hartal in Habiganj, Dinajpur, Laxmipur, Jessore, Sirajganj and Comilla and some other districts.
Police arrested 141 people, mostly BNP-Jamaat-Shibir men from different districts, including Habiganj, Meherpur, Sylhet, Khulna and Laxmipur.
Meanwhile, eight people suffered burn injuries in arson and crude bomb attacks in Habiganj, Dinajpur and Jessore.
The 20-party alliance enforced a 72-hour nationwide hartal from 6:00am on Sunday.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi in a statement announced the hartal on Friday.
After the announcement, members of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) picked up him from a house at Baridhara in the city early Saturday.
BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia called the indefinite blockade from January 6 as the government did not allow her party and its allies to hold protest rallies in the capital on January-5. – UNB