4 vehicles torched in Dhaka

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Dhaka, (Jan 6):— Pro-shutdown supporters on Sunday set on fire two buses in Mirpur, a car in Shankharibazar and a microbus in the Babubazar area as the opposition alliance’s day-long countrywide shutdown protesting the latest hike in fuel oil prices was underway.

“A bus was set ablaze around 6:30am in front of the Proshika Bhaban. On getting the news, a firefighting unit rushed to the spot and doused the flame,” fire service’s control room official Forhad Hossain told bdnews24.com.

Locals said pro-shutdown supporters torched a bus of the United Paribahan at around 6am near Mirpur’s Number 6 market. According to the witnesses, the bus driver was wounded after the explosion of a crude bomb.

The driver has been admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, they said.

Several crude bombs were reportedly detonated in front of the Commerce College in Mirpur this morning.

Around the same time, pro-shutdown supporters tried to torch a bus in the Mirpur-10 intersection but the attempt was foiled after the police interfered. One person was detained from the spot, Sub Inspector (Investigation) of Mirpur Model Police Station Moidul Hossain said.

A private car in Shankharibazar was set afire around 10am during a sudden procession in support of the shutdown. Police dispersed the procession minutes later.

The law enforcers have nabbed two persons from the spot following the arson attack, Officer-in-Charge of Kotwali Police Station Abu Bakar Siddiqui said.

At around 12:30pm, a microbus was torched in Babubazar’s Dumba Mosque area during a sudden procession of the pro-shutdown supporters, he added. The police officer said several crude bombs were detonated and a covered van was smashed.

Minutes later, the shutdown supporters ran away as police came in, Siddiqui said and added that the law enforcers had detained four persons from the spot.

Police and pro-BNP Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal were engaged in clashes in front of the Tejgaon College. “Police detained two persons from the area following the explosion of several crude bombs,” Sub Inspector of Tejgaon Industrial Zone Police Mohammad Ramjan Ali said.

A large number of rickshaws and auto-rickshaws were seen dominating the usually busy streets but buses were less seen. However, the number of vehicles increased with the advent of the day.

On Saturday, at least six vehicles were torched in different parts of the city on Saturday ahead of the countrywide dawn-to-dusk shutdown.

These attacks were reported from Ramna, Azimpur, Tejgaon, Mirpur, Science Laboratory intersection and Banani kitchen market areas.

In the first incident, suspected pro-strike supporters set on fire a medicine-carrying covered van of Globe Pharmaceuticals Limited in front of the Engineers’ Institution around 3:15pm.

In a similar incident, a ‘VIP 27′ number plying on Azimpur-Gazipur route was set ablaze in front of the Azimpur Girls’ School and College around 4:30pm.

A private car was set ablaze at the Sat Rasta intersection in Tejgaon at around 7:15pm. Around the same time, another bus of the Metro Service Paribahan was set on fire in Mirpur Sector-1 while a bus of Bihongo Paribahan in the New Market area was torched around 8:30pm.

Suspected pro-shutdown supporters set another bus on fire in front of the Banani kitchen market around 9:30pm.

It has become almost a routine affair to vandalise and torch vehicles in the capital in the evening prior to every strike or road blockades. Police often blame the opposition activists for the incidents.

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