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30 including cops hurt in AL-BNP clash in Patuakhali

A Correspondent:

Patuakhali: At least 30 people, including activists of Awami League (AL), Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and police personnel, were injured in clash between the two parties over holding rally in Sadar upazila in Patuakhali on Saturday.
Police used teargas to disperse the fighting groups while an additional number of law enforcers have been deployed in the area to avert any untoward incident.
Local BNP leaders said there was a scheduled rally to press home their 10-point demand, including res-ignation of the incumbent government and holding the next parliamentary election under a neutral gov-ernment, in front of the party office in Patuakhali’s town’s Banani intersection area at 10 am.
BNP activists and leaders from different parts of the district started gathering with processions since ear-ly morning, they said, adding that they were barred by the ruling party activists on their way to the rally venue.
A clash broke out between the activists of the parties when an AL procession was passing by, witnesses said.
Brickbats were thrown targeting each other, while BNP’s district office was also vandalised. The rival groups chased each other several times in the area, causing panic among the commuters and locals.
BNP Central leader ABM Mosharraf Hossain said at least 25 BNP activists were injured in the attack by AL men.
Md Saidul Islam, superintendent of police (SP), said, the situation is now under control and an addition-al number of policemen have been deployed in front of the BNP office in the town.
The SP said they used teargas to bring the situation under control but instantly could not inform how many rounds were used.
Additional Superintendent of Police Mohammad Mainul Hassan said several policemen were injured in the clash.
Sadar Police Station’s Officer-in-Charge, Md Moniruzzaman, said a process was underway to file cases against those who attacked law enforcers and tried to deteriorate the law and order situation.
The district unit of BNP held an emergency press conference in favour of their 10-point demand and protested the “attack” on their rally at a hotel this afternoon.
At the press conference, BNP Vice Chairman Abdul Awal Mintoo said the next national polls won’t be free and fair without a caretaker government.
Meanwhile, local AL leaders and activists held a peace rally in the morning.
AL’s district unit President and freedom fighter Kazi Alamgir and Vice President Sultan Ahmad Mridha, among others, spoke at the rally.
The district AL president said they will file a case against BNP men for “attacking” their rally.

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