Nine burned in hartal arson

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Nine people sustained severe burn injuries as a moving bus was torched in Dhaka while sporadic violence left about 100 more injured at places across the country on Tuesday, the third day of the ongoing 84-hour general strike.
The Bangladesh Nationalist Party-led opposition alliance enforces the countrywide general strike pressing for holding the coming general election under a non-party government and immediate release of the alliance leaders detained recently.
A Gulistan-Adamjee route bus of Kamal Paribahan was torched at about 1:50pm, when it passing Rayerbagh of Dembra in Dhaka.
The injured passengers said that the entire bus caught in fire in a few seconds after a big bang in its rear and the police suspected that somebody in guise of passenger had set the bus on fire.
Injured passengers Abdur Rahim, 28, construction worker Abul Kalam Azad, 45, construction contractor Abu Bakar Siddique, 36, Abdul Mannan, 35, Tejgaon Polytechnic Institute diploma student Tarek Ahmed, 19, Shuvo, 22, Eden College student Rabeya Sultana, 24, electrician Abdul Hai Chowdhury, 50, and rickshaw puller Khalil were rushed to burn unit at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Condition of Abdur Rahim, a flower vendor, was stated to be critical.
He said the bus was packed with passengers and it was heading towards Kanchpur Bridge. ‘As the bus reached near Rayerbagh filling station, we heard an explosion and fire engulfed the bus in seconds,’ said Rahim.
Golam Mostafa, who was passing by the bus on his bike, said that he was behind the moving bus and suddenly it caught in fire and passengers were screaming for help. He rescued Rahim and Tareque and rushed them to the hospital.
Jatrabari police officer-in-charge Rafiqul Islam said that the arson attack took place at about 1:50pm and he suspected that the culprit might have been among the injured as the bus was moving.
AKM Sarwarul Alam, a duty doctor at the burn unit, told New Age that two out of nine burn-injured were critical.
Injured Rabeya Begum, 25, a Masters student of political science at Eden Women University College, was going to her Thanarpara house at Siddirganj from the college.
The victim was whisked off to the hospital by a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver Aminul Isalm.
Injured Suvo was returning home after appearing in a job interview.
Since October 25, over 70 persons, who sustained burn injuries either as vehicles set on fire or in explosions of crude bombs, were admitted to the burn and plastic surgery unit, resident surgeon Partha Shankar Pal told New Age. Two of them died on November 4 and 8.  
At list three more buses were set on fire at Jatrabari, Madhya Badda and Abdullahpur on Tuesday.
Crude bombs were exploded in the capital’s Malibagh Chowdhury Para, Mirpur-10, Mahakhali kitchen market, Gabtali bus stop and Victoria park areas.
Two pedestrians were injured as bombs were hurled at the police in Nayabazaar intersection.
Chhatra Dal men brought out procession at Bhasantek and set fire on the road pouring petrol and Islami Chhatra Shibir men blasted 7 to8 crude bombs from at Jatrabari.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police tightened security during the opposition-sponsored shutdown. Over 10,000 additional policemen kept on alert at different points to keep troublemakers at bay. Plainclothes police equipped with still and video cameras were also deployed to identify troublemakers. 
In Chittagong, Juba League activists clashed with pickets in Chandgaon area. A tempo was set on fire and seven vehicles were vandalised there. The police detained a picket, Abdur Rahim, from the spot. 
In Tangail, administration banned rallies, gathering and processions at Gopalpur after ruling party activists and pickets clashed leaving at least 15 injured.
The eastern approach to Bangabandhu Bridge turned into a battle field after the police and activists of Jamaat and Shibir locked in a violent clash.
Locals said that the clash occurred when police chased Jamaat pickets who had blocked the highway and torched and vandalised some vehicles. They also attacked the police with lethal arms. At least 15 people including three policemen were injured in the clash.
Bangabndhu Bridge East police officer-in-charge Hares Ali said the pickets attacked the police and injured three policemen. They were admitted to Bhuiyanpur health complex, he said.
Bangabandhu East unit Shibir organising secretary Aminul Islam said police had attacked them all of a sudden firing rubber bullets and teargas shells injuring 12 pickets.
At Aditmari of Lalmanirhat, ruling Awami League activists allegedly set the local BNP office on fire on Monday night.
Witnesses and locals said that a group of people chanting slogans against the shutdown broke into the BNP office and set it on fire.
As the agitated BNP activists took to the street on Tuesday, the police fired several teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse them.
In Laksmipur, at least 18 crude bombs were blasted in front of Officers’ Club, Adarsha Samad High School and Uttar Trimuhni of the district town in the morning. 
In Sylhet, pickets brought out a procession from Central Shaheed Minar in the city at about 9:00am and later held a rally at Court Point.  BNP and Jamaat leaders addressed the rally. 
In Bogra, pickets led by Sadar upazila unit BNP president Maftun Ahmed, brought out a procession at Matidali of Sadar upazila at about 7:00am.  At least four crude bombs were exploded there.
Stray incidents of violence marked the third day of shutdown in Narsingdi. The pickets blasted 12 crude bombs and blocked Dhaka-Sylhet highway at Jail Gate, Satirpara, Madhabdi and Morzal points and damaged 12 CNG-run auto-rickshaws. Railway track at Chinispur area in the town was also set on fire.
Jhenaidah police recovered nine live crude bombs from an abandoned family bathroom at Beparipara in the town. In separate drives, police arrested five Shibir men and seven BNP activists.
In Barisal, one rickshaw and a battery-run auto rickshaw were vandalised. Pickets tried to block roads with brick-stacks and logs in different parts of the city.
Phulbari upazila administration in Kurigram banned any procession, rally and gathering for ten hours in Kharibari Bazar area after the Kharibari union units of the BNP-led alliance and Awami League called rally at the same venue on the day.

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