Police-BNP clash in Panchagarh: 81 named, 2000 unnamed sued
Police filed five cases against 81 named and around 2,000 unnamed people over a clash with BNP activists in Panchagarh on Saturday that left one BNP activist dead and at least 50 including policemen injured.
The cases were filed by five sub-inspectors of Panchagarh sadar police station on Sunday, said SM Sirajul Huda, superintendent of Panchagarh police.
Police detained eight BNP and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami activists on Saturday night during a drive over the incident, he said.
The cases were filed on allegation of obstructing government activities, beating government officials, creating anarchy and under the Explosive Substances Act, said Abdul Latif Mia, officer-in-charge of Panchagarh sadar police station.
Meanwhile the body of deceased Moyna Dighi Union BNP convener Abdur Rashid Arefin, 50, has been handed over to his family after an autopsy on Sunday, he said.
District BNP member secretary Farhad Hossain Azad said, “Our brother has died. We will decide our next step after discussing with family and the party following Arefin’s burial.”
On Saturday noon, as part of BNP’s movement for pressing home the 10-point demand it unveiled at its Dhaka divisional rally on December 10, the party’s Panchagarh-based leaders and activists gathered at the local party office.
Before they could bring out any procession though, the law enforcers released tear shells and fired rubber bullets to disperse the gathering, according to witnesses. Those who protested the police’s actions were baton-charged.
The BNP activists eventually dispersed, and then a series of chase-counter chase ensued, that continued for nearly 90 minutes. The BNP activists at this stage resorted to throwing brick chips at police.
It was only after additional backup forces arrived in the evening, that the police were able to finally take control of the situation well after 6pm.
Panchagarh SP SM Sirajul Huda, however, denied the allegation and claimed Arefin died of a heart attack..
He also claimed there were no signs of injury on Arefin’s dead body.