60 hurt as polytechnic students continue demo

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Over 60 people including six policemen were injured as the students of polytechnic institutes continue their demonstration in Rajshahi, Bogra, Sylhet and Khulna on Monday to realise their two-point demand.

An officer-in-charge (OC) of Detective Branch of police sustained bullet wound during the clash that reported from Rajshahi, reports our correspondent quoting Ziaur Rahman, OC of Boalia Police Station.

It was not known immediately who fired the bullet at the police.

At least 25 vehicles were vandalised and another was torched during the demonstration that stemmed from the students’ demand of ensuring timely promotion in jobs and withdrawal of the 2008 government provision that classifies entry-level positions held by diploma engineers as “supervisors”. The students have been demonstrating from September 22 to realise their demands.

The demonstration and violence were reported when Abdul Mannan Khan, state minister for the housing and public works, sat with the representatives from Bangladesh Diploma Engineers’ Peshajibi Chhatra Shikkhak Sangram Parishad at his ministry around noon Monday.

The aggrieved students also blocked several highways and roads during their agitation on Monday.

Law enforcers rounded up at least 35 people for their involvement with the violence.

Meanwhile, Khondoker Mainur Rahman, member secretary of the diploma engineers’ parishad, told The Daily Star that they would continue their demonstration boycotting final examinations until their demands are met.

Apart from the two-point demand, the students have a few more issues, including increasing their stipends and intern fees, he added.

RAJSHAHI

The clash ensued around 11:30am when the students tried to barricade the Rajshahi-Naogaon highway and torched a motorbike of police in front of Rajshahi Polytechnic Institute in the city.

Facing police resistance, the agitating students returned to their campus and started hurling crude bombs and brick chips at the law enforcers.

At least 30 homemade bombs were hurled during the one-hour incident, leaving six policemen including an officer-in-charge (OC) of Detective Brach of police injured, reports our Rajshahi correspondent quoting Ziaur Rahman, OC of Boalia Police Station.

Later, police along with the members of Rapid Action Battalion entered the campus and charged batons, leaving more than 45 people injured, the OC said.

At one stage, the law enforcers had to fire over a hundred rounds of rubber bullets and lob at least 40 teargas canisters to bring the situation under control around 12:30am, he added.

Of the injured, the DB official and six others were admitted to Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital.

Later, the six injured were shown arrested for their involvement with the violence.

The OC suspected that the activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, instigated the general students aiming to deteriorate the congenial atmosphere of the institute.

BOGRA

Students of Bogra Polytechnic Institute barricaded Sherpur road in front of their institute for nearly 10 minutes after boycotting final exams for the second consecutive day.

They also vandalised three to four vehicles including a student bus of Shah Sultan College during the demonstration that started around 9:30am.

At one stage, police had to fire three rubber bullets to disperse the agitating students.

The law enforcers picked up four students from the spot in connection with the vandalism, reports our Bogra correspondent quoting Gaziur Rahman, assistant superintendent of police (ASP) in Bogra Sadar.

Additional police have been deployed in the area to avoid further untoward incident, the ASP added.

SYLHET

The students of Sylhet Polytechnic Institute vandalised seven vehicles at Khojarkhola area in the city.

When locals tried to resist the agitating students from vandalism, a chase and counter-chase took place between them, reported our correspondent quoting Ranjan Samanta, officer-in-charge of Surma (South) Police Station.

Later, police reached the spot and took the situation under control, he added.

Protesting the vandalism, transport workers in Sylhet blocked the Dhaka-Sylhet highway by placing buses and trucks.

The blockade was continued when this report was filed around 3:30pm, said Mushfiqur Rahman, deputy commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police.

KHULNA

At least 10 people including two primary school students were injured when the students of several polytechnic institutes vandalised nearly 10 vehicles including buses on Dhaka-Khulna highway in Khulna city.

Of the injured, the school students were admitted to Khulna Medical College and Hospital.

Around 2,000 students took to the highway around 11:00am.

The clash ensued when police tried to resist the agitating students from blocking the busy highway at Khalishpur area in the city, reports our correspondent quoting Sukumar Bishwas, officer-in-charge of Khalishpur Police Station. Later, the clash spread to some adjacent areas including Titumir, Boikali and Rail Crossing points.

Police lobbed teargas canisters and charged batons to disperse the agitating students to clear the highway.

The clash was continuing till filing of this report around 2:30pm.

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