Jamaat behind AL office attack: Alamgir
Published: 2013-05-05 10:46:19.0 BdST Updated: 2013-05-05 11:37:50.0 BdST
Home Minister Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir has alleged the activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student affiliate Islami Chhatra Shibir had carried out the attacks on the Awami League headquarters and engaged in clashes ‘in the guise’ of Hifazat-e Islam supporters.
“I have had talks with the Hifazat. They have said the attackers were not their activists,” Alamgir told journalists on Sunday after clashes broke out at Gulistan and attacks in front of the CPB and the Awami League offices.
“The Jamaat, Shibir activists had perpetrated the attacks in the guise of Hifazat-e Islam supporters,” he claimed.
As the minister was speaking, sounds of teargas shells being fired and home-made bombs being exploded could be heard.
The Home Minister criticised the acts of violence. “These (acts of violence) are unexpected. The Hifazat had said they would hold their rallies peacefully but failed to keep their promise.”
He called on the Hifazat to keep their promises and said necessary actions would be taken wherever necessary.
Asked why the organisation was given rally permission, Alamgir said, “They (the Hifazat) have been given permission to rally according to the Constitution. They had resorted to violence although they said their programme would be peaceful.”
The minister claimed the situation was under control. “The whole situation is being monitored and the law keepers are working with patience.”
He said the government was ready to tackle the situation if it went out of control and warned that police would go ‘hardline’.
Clashes erupted at Paltan when groups of purported Hifazat activists were going to Motijheel.
As the clashes continued, suspected Hifazat activists torched a book shop beneath the Bangladesher Communist Party office at Palatan. They also smashed glasses of the building.
Minutes later, at least 15 crude bombs exploded in front of the ruling party headquarters on Sunday afternoon. Supporters of the Hifazat were passing by the area with processions to attend their Motijheel rally. Soon clashes erupted at the Bangabandhu Avenue and quickly spread to surrounding areas.
Witnesses said several people were injured in the clashes.
Doctors at the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital said one person died from bullet wounds and nearly 50 others were admitted there with injuries.
Asked whether the government had plans to deploy the army of joint forces in this situation, Minister Alamgir said steps would be taken after analysing situation.
He said the the government had taken ‘necessary steps’ to ensure safety of the people.
When asked if authorities would take actions if the Hifazat did not leave Motijheel after their Sunday’s rally, he said they were waiting to see the group’s move.
State Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku blamed Opposition Leader Khaleda Zia for ‘creating religious fanaticism’ since violence came after her Saturday’s statement.
At a rally on Saturday, the BNP chief had turned down Prime Minister’s offer for talks and alleged Sheikh Hasina was staging a drama over the dialogue offer.
She had also served the government a 48-hour deadline to accede the opposition’s demand for a non-party neutral election-time government.
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