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AL factional clashes in N'ganj leave 50 injured
Over 50 people, including five cops, were injured in series of clashes between two local groups of ruling Awami League on Dhaka-Chattogram highway in front of Madanpur Uttara Super Market under Bandar police station in Narayanganj on Sunday over establishing supremacy and collection of tolls from Madanpur auto-rickshaw stand.
Of the injured, Khalilur Rahman alias Khalil, aged about 45, an elected ward member of Madanpur Union Parishad and a local Awami League leader, is now undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital in a critical condition.
The other injured who received treatment at different hospitals.
Khalil developed a long-term enmity with Amir Hossain, a local leader of Juba League, over collecting toll from auto-rickshaws coming to Madanpur stand, locals and drivers of the stand said.
They said that around 500 CNG-run and battery-run auto-rickshaws ply on the roads to and from the stand and each of the auto-rickshaw has to pay Tk 50 as toll.
Supporters of the rival leaders had locked in clashes several times at the area in the past few years, they recalled.
Witnesses and sources in the police said Amir Hossain came out of his Uttara Super Market office around 12:30pm accompanied by and 20 to 25 henchmen armed with sticks and sharp weapons. Amir’s men swooped on Khalil when the latter, with two of his associates, was sitting at a tea stall near the market. The attackers hacked Khalil black and blue inflicting wounds all over his body and left him in a pool of blood, they said.
He was immediately rushed to a local hospital from where he was sent to DMCH in a critical condition, police said.
As the news of hacking of Khalil spread in the area, his supporters, using public announcement system, rushed to Madanpur area and blocked the Dhaka-Chattogram highway at the point and began to demonstrate, witnesses said.
A number of Khalil’s followers stormed into the houses and shops of the supporters of Amir Hossain and vandalised some and set fire to a few, they said.
Within minutes, they said, Amir’s followers again appeared in the area and began to chase Khalil’s supporters.
The area turned into a battlefield as the clashing groups, armed with sticks and sharp weapons, locked in clashes and began to throw brickbats at each other.
At one stage, Amir’s followers withdrew from the scene and Khalil’s supporters took control over the area, witnesses said.
They also said that the agitators protesting against the attack on Khalil began to demonstrate occupying the road, put wood logs and burning tires on the road.
The agitators, meanwhile, vandalized a number of vehicles breaking their glasses in the process.
The Bandar police rushed to the scene sparking more clashes as they began to throw brickbats at the police leaving five cops, including assistant sub-inspector Shamim, injured, they said.
They also said that the police in a van opened fire in the air to bring the situation under control.
Since the blockade continued for over three hours, a huge tailback occurred at both ends of the road.
The police with armour vehicle and Rapid Action Battalion appeared on the scene at about 4:00pm but failed to control the situation.
Later, witnesses said, Madanpur union parishad chairman went to the spot and calmed the situation by assuring that the attackers of Khalil would be brought to book.
Khalil’s supporters withdrew the blockade around 4:30pm, they said.
Bandar police station officer-in-charge Azharul Islam told BDchronicle that they had deployed additional police forces in the area to avoid any further untoward incident.
He said that no case was lodged in this connection but they were conducting drives to nab the attackers of Khalil.