Bangladesh witnesses violence over war crimes trial



Dhaka: Several people were injured today after violence gripped the Bangladeshi capital following fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami activists' violent protests at several places to protest the ongoing 1971 war trials.

Angry at the sentencing of JI's assistant secretary general Abdul Quader Mollah by a special tribunal which found him guilty of war crimes committed during 1971 independence war, the protesters torched vehicles and clashed with police.

The rubber bullets and tear gas were used to disperse the violent protesters, a police spokesman said, adding that nearly 100 rioters were detained from the scene.

Extra police and elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) were deployed in the city to prevent further violence.

The JI activists exploded homemade bombs and torched several dozens of buses and other vehicles at the Motijheel business district and adjacent areas in central Dhaka.

"They torched and damaged the buses and private cars injuring many, using the hit and run strategy to evade police actions," an eyewitness said.

He said JI held a street march at Motijheel area to protest the mass sit-in for the 10th day at the Shahbagh by youngsters who are demanding death penalty for war criminals.

Witnesses said police and RAB men in riot cars enforced a vigil in the troubled spots but the violence could impact little the youngsters' sit-in at Shahbagh Square, two kilometres away from the troubled Motijheel.

The JI activists took to the street for the second consecutive day today since the youngsters began their demonstration 10 days ago demanding capital punishment of the top JI leaders for atrocities committed during Liberation War.

PTI