Four picketers were detained during BNP’s otherwise uneventful day-long general strike at Munshiganj on Sunday. The strike was called on Friday after the recovery of the body of a Juba Dal leader from Buriganga River, who was allegedly killed on his way to the party’s rally at Dhaka’s Paltan ground.
Police said that the four BNP activists—Asad Mia, 18, Md Sharif Hossain, 28, Md Chand Mia, 45, and Mamun Mia, 25—tried to create chaos near Muktarpur bridge, at the outskirts of the town, at around 4pm.
bdnews24.com correspondent reports that bus communication between Dhaka and Munshiganj was halted due to the strike.
However, rickshaws and other vehicles plied through the streets within the town itself.
Locals said that inter-district bus communication with Sirajdikhan, Louhojong, Tongibari and Srinagar upazilas was normal. Launches also operated according to schedule.
They also said that businesses and offices operated like any other day.
Local BNP leaders and activists took out a procession at around 9am, led by former MP and district BNP president Abdul Hai.
No picketing was observed in favour of the strike within the town itself.
However, picketers took position at Muktarpur stopping buses on the Dhaka-Munshiganj Highway.
Mushiganj Sadar police sub-inspector Amena Begum told bdnews24.com that the four detained were trying to create chaos by throwing bombs and brickbats.
They were charged under the Speedy Trial Act, the police official added.
Munshiganj police super M Shafiqul Islam said that traffic was normal on all roads, including Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Mawa highways.
Additional police was deployed at important locations of the district town.
Akbar Hossain, organising secretary of the municipality Juba Dal, drowned in the river Buringanga at Sadarghat on May 19 on his way to BNP’s rally in Dhaka.
His body was recovered the following day.
Abdul Hai told bdnews24.com on Friday that Akbar drowned following an attack by the ruling Awami League activists.
BNP called the strike demanding the arrest of the criminals, he said.
Munshiganj AL publicity secretary Kamal Uddin Ahmed denied the allegations.
BNP enforces general strike in Munshiganj
The dawn-to-dusk general strike called by the Munshiganj unit Bangladesh Nationalist Party for Sunday in protest at the killing of Juba Dal leader Akbar Hossain was observed on Sunday amid sporadic clashes.
At least nine activists of the BNP were arrested at places during the strike hours.
No vehicles plied the Dhaka–Munshiganj Highway. Pickets at Muktarpur vandalised a truck. Rickshaws were as usual on the road in the district town.
The district unit BNP brought out a procession, led by the unit president Abdul Hai, in the town in favour of the strike.
The general strike was enforced strictly at Muktarpur, Mirkadim, Hatimara, Sepahipara, Durgabari and in the south of the town. The police foiled the upazila unit BNP demonstrations at Tongibari. The strike was comparatively lax at Lauhajang and Serajdikhan.
Vehicle movement was normal as the Dhaka–Mawa and Dhaka–Chittagong highway remained out of the strike purview.
The Mirkadim municipal Juba Dal organising secretary, Akbar Hossain, drowned in the River Buringanga at Sadarghat on May 19 after being attacked by ruling party men on his way to the BNP rally in Paltan ground.
He was found dead the next day.
The BNP secretary general, Khandaker Delwar Hossain, meanwhile, protested at the arrest of party activists and torture on them by the police during the ‘peaceful’ enforcement of the general strike in Munshiganj.
Delwar said the police had illegally arrested and tortured 16 leaders of the BNP and its front organisations during the strike.
He called on the government to show democratic attitude by immediately releasing all the arrested and withdrawing all false cases filed against them.
BNP’s hartal observed peacefully in Munshiganj
A dawn-to-dusk hartal enforced in Munshiganj by BNP protesting the killing of one of its activist passed off peacefully yesterday.
Vehicular movements in the district town as well as on Dhaka-Munshiganj highway remained suspended but communications on Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Mawa routes were normal, police control room in the district said.
Superintendent of Police Md Shafiqul Islam of Munshiganj told The Daily Star that road communications on all the highways, except Dhaka-Munshiganj, were normal.
The district unit BNP, led by its president Abdul Hai, brought out a procession from Muktarpur bridge area, on the outskirts of the town, in the morning.
The BNP leaders alleged that ruling party cadres attacked some party men while they were going to Dhaka to attend the grand rally on May 19 and killed BNP activist Akbar Hossain, whose body was recovered later.