20 injured as BNP activists clash with Awami League, police in Cumilla

A protest rally over spiralling commodity prices and the deaths of two BNP men in Bhola turned violent following police intervention at Nangalkot

Cumilla Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 31 August 2022, 09:41 AM
Updated : 31 August 2022, 09:41 AM

Leaders and activists of the BNP have clashed with Awami League supporters and police personnel in Cumilla's Nangalkot, leaving at least 20 people injured.

The violence erupted at the Nangalkot municipal market at 9 am on Wednesday and continued with short pauses until 12:30 pm.

Five policemen were among the injured, but no further details regarding the victims were immediately available.

Witnesses said leaders and activists of the BNP and its associate organisations started gathering at the Khila CNG Autorickshaw Stand area of the market in the morning. They tried to lead a protest march from there, but were blocked by the police.

A debate over whether the protest rally was authorised ensued and it soon escalated into violence. Police fired several rounds of blank shots and tear gas to keep the situation under control.

At that point, supporters of the Awami League also got involved in the conflict, with leaders and activists of the rival political parties hurling brickbats and stones at each another.

"We had organised a rally in protest against the increase in commodity prices, including fuel oil, and the police killings of two leaders of the Chhatra Dal and Swechchha Sebak Dal in Bhola," said Nazir Ahmed Bhuiyan, president of the BNP's Nangalkot Upazila wing.

“We were unjustly batoned by the police at the start of the rally at 9 am. Later, Awami League leaders and activists joined them. More than 15 of our workers were injured. We condemn this incident."

Addressing the incident, Sadek Hossain, joint convenor of Nagalkot Awami League, said, "The BNP leaders and activists appeared and ran riot in the name of protesting. They vandalised the Lotus Kamal Square, built in honour of our leader and finance minister [AHM Mustafa Kamal] in the Battala area of the market.”

Police presence has been beefed up in the area to prevent any further escalation, according to Farook Hossain, chief of Nangalkot Police Station. "We are trying to ensure medical care for the injured policemen," he said.

Legal action will be taken against those involved in the clashes, Farook added.

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