A female schoolteacher’s death during picketing in Noakhali and sporadic incidents of violence marked the countrywide daylong hartal on Monday, enforced by the BNP-led 20-party alliance in protest against the ‘foiling’ of its Gazipur rally and demanding the release of its arrested senior leaders.
The hartal began at 6am and ended at 6pm yesterday.
Shasunnahar, 37, of Poragacha village of Ramganj upazila in Laxmipur district and a teacher of Towhid Laboratory School in West Agargaon area in the capital was killed as she was hit in her head by a brick chip hurled by picketers in Noakhali Sadar upazila headquarters in the morning.
In the capital, there was no report of any untoward incident, while the vehicular movement was almost normal.
Activists of the 20-party alliance brought out processions in support of the hartal in New Market, Azimpur, Pallabi, Mohakhali, Malibagh and Goran areas in the morning.
Police, however, foiled several of the processions and arrested nine pro-hartal activists from different areas of the city.
The law enforcers also fired rubber bullets to disperse a procession brought out by BNP activists near Pallabi Supermarket in the city around 8am, leaving one injured. Later, the injured was taken to hospital and shown arrested.
However, no inter-district bus left the city during the shutdown.
According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, over 80 pro-hartal activists were arrested in Khulna, Meherpur, Bagerhat, Laxmipur, Bhola, Satkhira and Sylhet districts on Sunday night and Monday.
In a post-hartal press briefing, BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir claimed that police arrested over 342 pro-hartal activists across the country during the hartal hours on Monday, while over 110 were injured in attacks by law enforcers and ‘ruling party cadres’.
Besides, three 20-party activists were sentenced to various jail terms by mobile courts during the shutdown.
BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir announced the shutdown program on Saturday after an emergency meeting of the secretaries general of the 20-party combine at BNP chief’s Gulshan office.
Huge law enforcers, including members of Border Guard Bangladesh, were deployed in Dhaka city to ensure the security of people and their property and fend off any untoward incident during the hartal.
The 20-party was scheduled to hold the rally at Bhawal Badre Alam Government College ground in Gazipur on Saturday as part of its countrywide mass campaign to mobilize public support in favor of their demand for holding a fresh inclusive election under a non-party administration. BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was scheduled to address the rally.
But the rally could not be held as the local administration imposed Section 144 on the rally venue after the ruling party men took over the college ground to hold its own rally at the same time.
Stray incidents mark hartal; female teacher killed