Ref: At least 10 people have been injured and 15 others arrested in an hour-long clash between the police and activists of BNP over holding a rally at the party’s headquarters.
The rally was organised as part of the three-day district-level programmes declared by the opposition in support of their Nov 30 countrywide full-day general strike.
BNP leaders claimed that the police attacked them without any provocation and that they had prior permission to hold the rally on Saturday.
However, the police refuted the claim and said they had acted only after the opposition activists had gone on the rampage facing the police bar.
District BNP convenor Mojibur Rahman Sorowar, also the MP from Barisal Sadar constituency, claimed that at least 10 of their activists were injured when the police clubbed and teargassed BNP supporters.
He has also called for a press conference at his residence in the city’s Kaunia area around 4pm to protest the police action.
The rally was supposed to be held in front of the party office at Ashwani Kumar Town Hall year in the city’s Sadar Road around 11am. “Permission was also taken from the Barisal Metropolitan Police commissioner in this regard,” the party’s district unit joint secretary Mohammad Abul Hossain said.
Sorowar said, “The police took the role of Awami League cadres and assaulted the BNP leaders and activists. At least 10 were injured in the police attack.”
However, Kotwali Model Police chief Mohammad Jahangir Hossain refuted the allegations. “The BNP activists tried to barricade the streets and hold their programme without any prior administrative permission.”
“They threw brickbats at us when we tried to stop them. The police charged baton and fired tear shells to disperse the demonstrators in a bid to save public property.
“Fifteen people were detained at the time. We will take legal steps against the guilty after verification,” he added.