Dhaka: Nearly 12 people, including three policemen and a senior journalist, were injured in violence as millions of people across Bangladesh on Tuesday observed a three-minute silence to express solidarity with young protestors demanding the execution of 1971 war criminals.
Cutting across age and socio-political affiliations, thousands of people gathered at Shahbagh Square in Dhaka at 4 pm, where protesters have been staging demonstrations for the last eight days demanding that people accused of "crimes against humanity" during the 1971 liberation war be hanged.
Play in the Bangladesh Premier League was halted as cricketers expressed their solidarity with the protesters even as officials at the prime minister`s office and other public services joined the "non-political" movement.
Yesterday, youngsters gave a call for a silent vigil as a part of their "non partisan" campaign sparked off last week when Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah was given a life term instead of death penalty for siding with Pakistani troops during the liberation war.
However, violence gripped the capital city ahead of the silent vigil in which many people, including policemen, were injured as JI activists launched a sudden attack and exploded home-made bombs near the protest scene.
Police said they arrested 73 JI activists in connection with the today`s violence and they would face charges for "attack on police, torching and smashing vehicles".
"Three of our policemen were also injured," a police spokesman told newsmen.
The editor of Bangladesh`s leading Prothom Alo newspaper was among the wounded.
Two of the injured received bullet injuries during the brief violence when riot police fired rubber bullets and lobbed tear gas canisters to disperse the right-wing activists.