One dead, 68 hurt as police, ‘jamaat activists’ clash over last rites of war criminal

Locals said the clash broke out when police obstructed "Jamaat-Shibir activists" from holding last rites without the body at Lamar Chiringa around 4:30pm.


Photo: Collected

August 16, 2023

DHAKA – A man was “shot dead” and 68 people were injured in separate clashes between police and “activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and pro-Jamaat student body Chhatra Shibir” over holding namaz-e-janaza of war criminal Delawar Hossain Sayedee in Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar this afternoon.

Mohammed Forkan, 60, of Chakaria Municipality, was brought dead with bullet wounds at around 4:30pm, said Syed Iftekharul Islam, in-charge of Chakaria Upazila Health Complex.

In Cox’s Bazar’s Chakaria, seven people were being treated in the hospital with gunshot wounds, he added.

Forkan had injury marks on his head, said the hospital’s Family Planning Officer Muhammadul Haque, adding that how he got the injury marks would be ascertained after an autopsy.

Locals said the clash broke out when police obstructed “Jamaat-Shibir activists” from holding a gayebana janaza (last rites without the body) at Lamar Chiringa around 4:30pm.

Locals said some criminals opened fire on the “activists” and started beating them with sticks.

They fled the scene before police reached the spot, they added.

The activists later launched attacks on police and vandalised two vehicles, of which one was a police vehicle.

Chakaria Police Station Officer-in-Charge Javed Mahmud said six policemen, including himself, were injured while trying to control the situation.

In Pekua upazila, 15 policemen were injured in another clash between police and “Jamaat-Shibir activists” at Barbakia Bazar around 3:00pm.

Pekua Police Station OC Mohammad Omar Haider said police brought the situation under control by firing shots in the air.

In Chattogram, at least 40 people, including pedestrians, were injured in separate clashes between Jamaat-Shibir activists sand police in Kazir Dewri and Wasa areas, when activists gathered to offer gayebana janaza for Sayedee.

When they brought out two processions around 2:30pm and 4:15pm in Kazir Dewri and Wasa, police charged truncheons and fired sound grenades and rubber bullets.

The Jamaat-Shibir activists started hurling stones towards police and at the Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) headquarters in Dampara.

Several policemen were injured while more than 15 suspected Jamaat-Shibir activists were detained.

Chattogram Jamaat-e-Islami Nayeb-e-Ameer Azm Obaidullah told The Daily Star, “We sought permission from police for the janaza but police denied.”

Deputy Commissioner (DC-South) of CMP Mostafizur Rahman told reporters, “Without any permission, Jamaat-Shibir activists gathered and tried to carry out subversive activities but we foiled their attempts. We dispersed them from the spot by charging truncheons after they attacked police.”

[Our Chattogram and Cox’s Bazar staff correspondents contributed to the report]

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