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Farroque injured in police action

Edit Date:7/6/2011 12:00:00 AM


Dhaka, July 6 (bdnews24.com)—Opposition chief whip Zainul Abedin Farroque has been injured in police attack in the city during the early hours of the opposition-sponsored 48-hour countrywide shutdown. 

The BNP headquarters at Naya Paltan was cordoned off since Wednesday morning as the BNP-led alliance started enforcing the lockdown from 6am, demanding reinstatement of the caretaker government system and an end to 'public sufferings'. 

Police also picked up several activists of BNP and its main ally Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami from the city. 

A few vehicles were on the city streets, which were dominated mainly by rickshaws. 

Although inter-district buses stayed off the roads, the authorities claimed that operation of trains, launches and flights was normal. 

Presence in the administrative nerve centre Bangladesh Secretariat as well as other government offices was relatively lower than usual. 

Trading on the Dhaka Stock Exchange began on schedule at 11:00am. 

BNP chief whip Farroque led a procession of some 25 opposition MPs from Farmgate to parliament building around 7am, but they were intercepted as hartal supporters threw brickbats at buses. 

Witnesses said Farroque picked up an altercation with Dhaka Metropolitan Police additional deputy commissioner Harun-or-Rashid, which resulted in a scuffle and later the BNP leader was beaten. 

Injured in the head, Farroque was first taken to the residence of MP Syeda Asifa Ashrafi Papiya at the nearby NAM flat and later to United Hospitals around 9:45am. 

Two police members, including Harun, were also injured during the tussle with BNP supporters. 

At Naya Paltan, acting secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir along with other leaders and supporters gathered outside their headquarters since morning, but police did not allow them either to enter the office or to take out processions. 

The law enforcers also picked up several activists from the area. 

Fakhrul told reporters the opposition supporters were not allowed to enjoy their fundamental right to protest and instead were being arrested. 

"We're besieged here. Police are not allowing anyone to assemble here [party office]. Agitation can't be stifled by such arrests," he added. 

Seven Jamaat activists were also arrested from a demonstration at Senparha Parbata of Mirpur around 6:30am. 

Mirpur police sub-inspector Rakibul Islam said they stopped the demonstrators parading down the streets as they had blocked the street. "They pelted brickbats on us, so we dispersed the procession and picked up seven of them." 

They would be punished by mobile court, he added. 

The officer also claimed Pallabi zone deputy commissioner Siraj Amin, Kafrul Police Station officer-in-charge Abdul Latif and Mirpur Model Police Station sub-inspector Ashok Chouhan were injured. 

Ten mobile courts operating on the Dhaka streets, apparently to thwart pickets and ensure public security, sentenced eight people on Tuesday while the home minister warned against any bid to disrupt the normal life. 

As many as seven buses, two private cars and a van were set ablaze in Dhaka in the run-up to the countrywide blockade. 

In Chittagong, 20 buses were vandalised reportedly by the supporters of BNP vice-chairman Abdullah Al Noman. 

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