The main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and like-minded organisations sit-in programmes at different Dhaka entry points ended on Saturday amid attacks and arrests.
The police and BNP leaders said that dozens of BNP leaders and activists, including the party standing committee member Gayeshwar Chnadra Roy and central leader Amanullah Aman were detained during the sit-in programmes while scores of the opposition activists were injured. Police, however, released Gayeshwar.
Reports received from different areas said that the activists of the ruling Awami League accompanied the police in identifying and attacking the opposition activists.
Though the programme was scheduled to begin at 11:00am, a large number police personnel along with riot cars, water canons and prison vans were seen deployed at all the Dhaka entry points since morning.
The situation was seen at places including Gabtali, Aminbazar, Siddhirganj, Signboard, South end of Buriganga bridge, Keraniganj and Uttara areas.
At Gabtali, over 500 members of law enforcement agencies were seen deployed and the police snatched away public announcement system from the BNP activists at about sometimes before 11:00am.
As the BNP activists tried to gather at the Dhaka entry point, the police attacked the BNP leaders and activists and picked up several of them.
At least 15 BNP activists were picked up by the police until 11:45am and the ruling AL activists were seen assisting the police and cheering when the police had been attacking and arresting the opposition leaders and activists.
The police also picked up BNP central leader Amanullah Aman from the spot.
Asked whether Aman was arrested, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Mirpur division deputy commissioner Molla Jasim Uddin told New Age, ‘we need to talk to him.’
At about noon, a clash occurred between the Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Chhatra League at Gabtali while a JCD procession was attacked by BCL activists. The clash left at least two injured.
DMP assistant commissioner for Darus Salam zone, Mofizur Rahman, said that 30 BNP leaders and activists were detained from Gabtali area until 1:00pm.
Though the BNP was supposed to hold sit-in at Nayabazar (the entrance of Babubazar Bridge), the party leaders and activists took position at Dholaikhal intersection.
The BNP leaders and activists began the sit-in at about 11:00am there but a clash between police and BNP activists occurred there at about 11:30am as police tried to disperse the activists from the place.
The police charged baton and lobbed teargas shells on the protesters.
In response, the protesters threw brick bats targeting the police.
The BNP leaders there claimed that dozens of their activists were injured in police attack and many were arrested from there.
Police also picked up Gayeshwar Roy from the spot. He was later released after interrogation at the detective branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, officials said.
Clashes between the police and BNP activists were also occurred in Uttara and Shanir Akhra areas in the city, reports received from the areas said.