Dhaka: Violence continued unabated in Bangladesh today with miscreants torching a train, after 28 people were killed in two days of clashes between marauding members of a radical Islamist outfit and the police.
“The miscreants torched five compartments of the Subarna Express, two of the compartments were badly burnt…this is a clear case of sabotage,” railway official Mia Jahan told PTI.
He said nobody was hurt as the miscreants set ablaze the “elite train” before dawn while it was stationed on tracks to carry passengers from the port city of Chittagong to Dhaka.
Police said they have launched an investigation into the sabotage which came after violence erupted over Chittagong- based Hefazat-e-Islam’s ‘Dhaka siege’ programme.
Police have detained two persons for their alleged involvement in the incident, said Ahsan Habib, officer-in- charge of Government Railway Police (GRP) at Chittagong Railway Station.
Main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led opposition alliance, with the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami being a major partner, has called two consecutive days of general strike from tomorrow to protest, what they said were ‘atrocities’ on Hefazat activists, comprising mainly of unregistered madrasah students.
Officer-in-charge of Kotwali police station in Chittagong Mahiuddin Selim said an investigation has been launched into the possible Hefazat or opposition links to the burning of the train.
Two days of clashes between Hefazat activists and the police has claimed 28 lives, authorities said.
Seven people, including an army soldier, were killed late yesterday at Hathazari area at the outskirts of the port city.
Hathazari, the home of Hefazat chief Allama Ahmed Shafi, is said to be the main centre of the group which wages a campaign to mount pressure on government to implement their 13-point demand that included enactment of a tough blasphemy law.
Meanwhile, officials said, that six members of law enforcement agencies and armed forces lost their lives in the violence which erupted in Dhaka and then spread subsequently to the suburban Narayanganj, Chittagong and south-western Bagerhat.
The dead included three policemen, an army soldier who was hacked to death during clashes at Hathazari, and two paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh soldiers, one of them succumbing to his wounds earlier today.
Hefazat activists fought pitched battles with the police yesterday at suburban Narayanganj after they were evicted from the capital.
Officials said the Jamaat-e-Islami activists initiated the violence taking advantage of Hefazat’s ‘Dhaka siege’.
The law enforcement agencies eventually dispersed the protestors from the capital.
Media reports said most of those killed were Hefazat activists.