Police have detained 44 leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party after they clashed with the law enforcers in Chattogram.
The skirmish broke out on the Chattogram Press Club premises on Wednesday. Four policemen were injured during the scuffle.
The BNP, which had boycotted the 2014 national election, observes Jan 5 as ‘Democracy Killing Day’ and had arranged a human-chain protest to mark the occasion.
“They were supposed to form a human chain. They always set it up on the footpath near the press club. But today, they blocked the road,” said Mujahidul Islam, assistant commissioner (Kotwali) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police.
“I urged the protesters to clear the road. Instead, they started hurling brickbats. They were hostile from the beginning.”
Additional Deputy Commissioner (South) Aminul Islam was struck in the head and returned home with five stitches, said Mujahidul.
Police are preparing a case against the culprits, he added.
A senior BNP leader, however, blamed the police for stirring the pot during the rally. “A lot of people had gathered at the rally today.
The police tried to break it up, which agitated the activists. They went on to charge batons at them.”
“Police have detained 49 of our activists. However, they are still claiming to have held 44. About 10 or 12 of our workers were injured during the clash.”