Hifazat sets vehicles on fire
Published: 2013-05-05 16:05:07.0 BdST Updated: 2013-05-05 18:11:31.0 BdST
At least 50 vehicles and several buildings were vandalised and torched in Dhaka by supporters of the Hifazat-e Islam during their rally at Motijheel on Sunday.
The Hifazat activists, while heading towards the rally, unleashed the mayhem in Paltan, Bijoynagar and the surrounding areas after involving with the law enforcers in clashes at Gulisthan in the noon.
They set fire to the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) headquarters in Mukti Bhaban, House Building Finance Corporation Bhaban and numerous buildings until night in Dhaka. Vehicles parked in front of the building were also torched.
Smokes were billowing out from those building at around 10pm.
Hundreds of shops on pavement were also set ablaze in areas stretching from Fakirapool to Paltan. The fire-fighters were not being able to douse the flames due to the ongoing clashes.
The Hifazat activists also vandalised and torched the shops on the ground floor of Mukti Bhaba, breaking open the gate of the building. They threw brickbats to break the window panes up to the fourth floor.
The flames soon spread from the foothpath to the adjacent buildings.
Six vehicles parked caught fire then.
Fire Service Official Mohammad Mohsin said they could not reach the scene due to fierce clashes.
Fire Service officials told bdnews24.com that at least 10 vehicles were set on fire between the afternoon and evening at Mouchak, Malibagh and Tejgaon in the capital.
He added that two toll plazas on the Babubazar Bridge in Old Dhaka were also set on fire.
Eye-witnesses say Hifazat supporters also set on fire at least 30 government vehicles in front of the Housing Building Finance Corporation in Purana Paltan.
The fire which started in the small shops on the pavement in front of the House Building gradually spread to the ground floor.
At 8:30pm, the fire services personnel were seen trying to tame the flames after police took the area under their control.
A Fire Service official told bdnews24.com that clashes prevented them from reaching those places which were engulfed in fire.
Police constable Piaul Islam, 35 sustained burn injuries after the attackers set the traffic box at East Bijoynagar on fire.
He has been admitted to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital’s burn unit for treatment.
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