At least 50 people, including a ruling party MP, were injured in triangular sporadic clashes of BNP and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) activists and police near Bakshibazar makeshift court following BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia’s appearance before it in two graft cases.
Chhabi Biswas, a ruling party MP from Netrakona-1, was injured and his vehicle was set on fire in front of Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) reportedly by the BNP men who took position in the area after being chased by a group of Chhatra League activists and law enforcers near Bakshibazar crossing.
Witnesses said the clash broke out around 12:10pm when a group of BCL activists had blocked a procession bought out by the BNP men at Fazle Rabbi Hall intersection of the DMCH before Khaleda Zia reached the court area.
The BCL men, wielding sticks and iron rods, beat up BNP and JCD men.
Later, a chase and counter-chase and sporadic clashes took place between BNP and BCL men, leaving the 40 people injured from both sides. Several crude bombs were also blasted during the melee.
At one stage, police charged batons and lobbed several rounds of teargas shells and dispersed the BNP activists who took position in different areas, including Chankharpul, Nazimuddin Road, Polashi and near the DMCH.
The law enforcers also detained 7-8 people from Bakshibazar area.
As police brought the situation under control around 1:00pm, the BCL men were seen heading towards Dhaka University campus in a procession.
A group of BNP activists allegedly attacked the vehicle carrying Chhabi Biswas as it was coming out of the DMCH emergency gate. The rowdy BNP men torched the vehicle and hit the MP and Mymensingh unit Krishak League joint secretary Dulal with sticks, leaving them injured.
They were taken to the DMCH.
DMCH sources said at least 25 people who were injured in the clashes received treatment at the public hospital.
Amid the clash, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia reached the makeshift court set up on the Bakshibazar Alia Madrasah playground for the deposition hearing in Zia Charitable Trust and Zia Orphanage Trust graft cases.
Khaleda arrived in the court area around 12:25pm and entered the court to appear before newly appointed Judge of Special Judge Court-3 Abu Ahmed Jamadar.
On completion of the court proceedings, Khaleda left the court area around 1:20pm and reached her Gulshan residence around 2:05pm.
Several thousands leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies thronged Bakshibazar and its adjacent areas since morning and staged a big showdown in the area centring the arrival of their leader at the court.
Earlier, on December 18, the government appointed Judge Abu Ahmed Jamaddar after transferring Judge Bashudev Roy, who had been dealing with the two corruption cases against Khaleda and eight others following Khaleda’s repeated requests to the High Court.
On August 8, 2011, the ACC filed the Zia Charitable Trust graft case with Tejgaon Police Station accusing four people, including Khaleda Zia, of abusing power in raising funds for the trust from unknown sources.
ACC deputy director Harunur Rashid, also an investigation officer of the case, pressed charges against the accused on January 16, 2012.
Besides, the ACC filed the Zia Orphanage Trust graft case on July 3, 2008 with Ramna Police Station accusing Khaleda Zia, her eldest son Tarique Rahman, now living in the UK after securing bail, and four others of misappropriating over Tk 2.10 crore which came as grants from a foreign bank for orphans.
On August 5, 2010, ACC deputy director Harunur Rashid submitted a charge-sheet to the court in the case against six people, including the BNP chairperson.
At least 50 hurt in BNP-BCL fights in city