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50 injured in fierce clash

Police swoop on left protesters

Bid to lay siege to ministry: Tear gas shells lobbed; rubber bullets fired; baton charged to disperse protesters: Nationwide demo today

 Bid to lay siege to ministry: Tear gas shells lobbed; rubber bullets fired; baton charged to disperse protesters: Nationwide demo today
photo by NN Photo

Police swooped on three left- leaning parties in front of the Jatiya Press Club and lobbed tear gas shells, fired bullets and charged batons to disperse the protesters while they were proceeding towards the Secretariat demanding reduction of gas price (to

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Staff Reporter :
At least 50 people were injured in a fierce clash between cops and activists of left leaning parties near Secretariat in the city on Wednesday noon. 

Besides, at least 20 cops also received wounds during the clash. 

According to police and witnesses, when the leaders and activists of three-left leaning parties- Communist Party of Bangladesh, Gono Songhati Andolon and Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal started marching towards the Secretariat to lay siege to the Power Ministry protesting the recent gas price hike, police barred them. 

Being barred, the protesters became furious and started launching attack with sticks on the cops and water cannon. They also pelted stones targeting the law enforcers.

At one stage when they started ransacking buses and other vehicles parked adjacent to the Jatiya Press Club, the agitation was turned into a battle field.

Police swooped on the protesters and started clubbing them indiscriminately.

Besides, the cops used water cannons, lobbed off tear gas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters leaving 50 injured on the spot.

The injured people have been admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital. 

Of the injured, some have been identified as Shariful Islam, Masud Rana, Sumayia Akter, Farzana Akter, Nusrat Huq, Rafiqul Islam, Rayhan Zaman and Aminesh, Abu Bakar Ripon, Belayet Sikder, Al Mostaqim, Nayeem Khan, Mohammad Hasib, Ashraful Huq Istiaq, Zahidul Alam and Riya Akter. Meanwhile, the three leftist political parties announced to stage demonstrations across the country today protesting the police attack.

 "Police suddenly launched attack on us and beat up indiscriminately. Later the cops tried to run over us with armored car. At one stage, they started firing from the armored car. Our many activists including leaders received serious wounds in the police brutal action," Monir Uddin Pappu, member secretary of Gono Songhoti Andolon, told The New Nation. 

He said that they would stage countrywide demonstration today to protest the Wednesday's police action.   

Rahim Hossain Prince, a CPB central leader said at least 40 leaders and activists of the three left-leaning parties were injured.

 "Police swooped on our rally while we were marching towards the secretariat to lay siege the power ministry," he said

Nafis Kamal, Assistant Deputy Commissioner, Ramna Zone, said the protesters carried out an attack on the water canons and armored personnel carriers and vandalised several private vehicles during the clash.

Some 20 police personnel also received minor injuries, Nafis said adding that they have brought the situation under control.

Earlier in the morning, the leaders and activists of the three parties thronged in front of the  Jatiya Press Club to take part in their pre-announced protest programme.

When contacted Abul Hasan, Officer-in-Charge, Shahbagh Police Station, said the activists hurled brickbats on the cops.

 "Police obstructed the march and dispersed it with water cannons and tear gas," he added.

Bangladesh government's latest gas price hike, in two phases - in March and June - by 22 percent, drew widespread flak.

As per the new hike, households using double burners have to pay Tk 800 each from next month compared to Tk 650 now, while those using single burners have to pay Tk 750 each against Tk 600. The prices would be increased again on June 1 by another Tk 150 for each gas stove.

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