Uneasy calm at Hathazari after Friday’s mayhem

Chattogram, March 27: Traffic movement on Chattogram-Khagrachhari highway remained suspended since Saturday morning as a tense situation has been prevailing at Hathazari in Chattogram since Friday’s clash between Hefazat activists and cops that left four people dead. Local administration and police held two meetings with the authorities of Hathazari Madrasah on Friday night but it ended inconceivably.
Local MP Barrister Anisul Islam said the local administration assured them of taking steps to investigate the incident and conduct postmortems on the bodies of the deceased.
Meanwhile, the authorities concerned of Hathazari Madrasah submitted a six-point demand to the local administration.
The demands are the arrest of those involved in the killing immediately, refraining from making attacks on students and people, compensating the families of the deceased, bearing medical expenses of the injured students, bringing those physicians under book who were responsible for the negligence of duty at Chattogram Medical College and Hosptial and suspending officer-in-charge of Hathazari Police Station Rafiqul.
Anisul said, “We have heard their demands, some have been fulfilled while steps will be taken regarding the other demands of the students.”
Apart from police, Rab and BGB members are patrolling the area for maintaining the law and order.
Earlier, four people were killed and at least 15 others injured in clashes between Hefazat-e-Islam activists and police at Hathazari on Friday.
Police and witnesses said Hefazat activists brought out a procession after Jum’a prayers protesting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit.
At one stage, they took position in front of Hathazari Model Police Station and started throwing brick chips at the law enforcers.
As police tried to disperse the protesters, they engaged in clashes.
The agitators attacked the thana compound and Hathazari land office and set fire to a vehicle, forcing the law enforcers to fire teargas shells to bring the situation under control.
As police failed to disperse the protestors despite an hour of their efforts, they fired several rounds of bullets, leaving at least 20 people injured.
Of the injured, three Hefazat activists and a pedestrian were declared dead after they had been taken to Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH).
The dead were indentified as Hathazari Madrasah students Mirazul Islam, Rabiul Islam, Jamil and local resident Abdullah.
Five other injured people were admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
Alauddin Talukder, officer-in-charge of Chattogram Medical College Hospital Police Outpost, said nine people with bullet wounds were taken to the CMCH from Hathazari as of 4:30pm yesterday. “Four of them died while the rest are undergoing treatment.”
Meanwhile, Hefazat-e-Islam has called a dawn-to-dusk countrywide hartal for Sunday protesting police action on their anti-Modi rally in Dhaka, Chattogram and other districts.
The Qawmi madrasa-based organisation will also organise nationwide demonstrations on Saturday, Abdur Rob Eusufi, nayeb-e-ameer of Hefazat, announced the programmes at a press briefing in Purana Paltan on Friday night.
Hefazat chief Junaid Babungari ran a video message in this regard, reports UNB.