The activists of BNP and the ruling Awami League locked in a chase and counter-chase in the capital’s Hazaribagh area over holding rallies the rival groups called at the same venue, leaving at least 25 people injured on Monday.
However, Dhanmondi Zone of BNP’s Dhaka south city unit shifted its original venue and held the rally peacefully in a field near Sikdar Medical College Hospital at Hazaribagh after the clash was over.
The BNP rally was held to protest the price hike of fuel, daily essentials and the killing of four opposition leaders in Bhola, Narayanganj and Munshiganj in police firing.
As part of the party’s plan to hold 16 rallies in the capital, BNP’s Dhanmondi zone announced to hold a rally at Shankar Bus Stand in Dhanmondi today (Monday).
As police imposed a restriction on political programmes in the area following a similar programme announced by the ruling party, BNP shifted the rally to Hazaribagh.
Witnesses said the clash erupted around 2:55 pm as the supporters of local Awami League MP Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin tried to obstruct BNP activists from joining their rally venue.
Both groups also engaged in a chase and counter-chase and beat their opponents with sticks unitl police rushed in and brought the situation under control.
Later, the ruling party men took a position at the Tally Office intersection behind a police barricade.
BNP leaders and activists joined the rally in processions. The law enforcers also put up a barricade around the rally venue to prevent a further possible face-off between the activists of the two parties.
The rally ended peacefully under the watch a huge number of law enforcers.
Contacted, BNP south city unit convener Abdus Salam told UNB that Awami League ‘cadres’ attacked their party men with an aim to foil the rally, but they failed to do so due to the strong resistance by the opposition activists.
He claimed at least 15 leaders of activists of their party were injured in the clash while police arrested several BNP supporters.
Jahangir Alam, a supporter of MP Shafiul Islam Mohiuddin, said at least 10 ruling party activists were injured as BNP followers attacked them with sticks on their way to the rally.