Four people were killed and at least 15 others injured in clashes between Hefazat-e-Islam activists and police at Hathazari in Chattogram district on Friday.
Police and witnesses said Hefazat activists brought out a procession after Jum'a prayers protesting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit.
At one stage, they took position in front of Hathazari Model Police Station and started throwing brick chips at the law enforcers.
As police tried to disperse the protesters, they engaged in clashes.
The agitators attacked the thana compound and Hathazari land office and set fire to a vehicle, forcing the law enforcers to fire teargas shells to bring the situation under control.
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As police failed to disperse the protestors despite an hour of their efforts, they fired several rounds of bullets, leaving at least 20 people injured.
Of the injured, three Hefazat activists and a pedestrian were declared dead after they had been taken to Chattogram Medical College Hospital (CMCH).
The dead were in deified as Hathazari Madrasa students Mirazul Islam, Rabiul Islam, Jamil and local resident Abdullah.
Five other injured people were admitted to the hospital in critical condition.
Alauddin Talukder, officer-in-charge of Chattogram Medical College Hospital Police Outpost, said nine people with bullet wounds were taken to the CMCH from Hathazari as of 4:30pm. “Four of them died while the rest are undergoing treatment.”
Additional Superintendent of Police (Hathazari circle) Shahadat Hossain said the police station came under attack suddenly. “We’ve brought the situation under control.”
Officer-in-charge (OC) of Hathazari Police Station Rafiqul Islam said the Hefazat followers tried to stage demonstrations protesting the Indian Prime visit to Bangladesh.
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“As we tried to stop them, they entered the police station and unleashed serious vandalism there,” he said.
The OC also said the protesters also hurled brick chips and stones towards police without any provocation.
Ruhul Amin, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) of Hathazari upazila administration, said the Hefazat activists attacked the local land office following the attack on the police station.
He said the rowdy protestors vandalised the land office, destroyed its files and documents in fire. “They also set ablaze a vehicle of the land office and then attacked bungalows and carried out massive destruction there.”