Bangladesh on the boil, 84 dead



Zeenews Bureau

Dhaka: Fresh clashes continued in Bangladesh on Tuesday as the death toll in the ongoing violence over the crime verdicts increased to 84. The clashes broke out after the conviction of three top Islamist leaders for 1971 war crimes on January 21.

Jamaat-e-Islami supporters clashed with the Bangladesh police on Monday after a nationwide strike was called to protest against the conviction of leaders. Four people, including a teenager,

Schools and businesses remained closed amidst reports that protesters attacking police and government offices and blocking rail and road traffic.

Police opened fire on unruly picketers in Satkhira and Sirajganj, killing four persons, including a teenage boy, and injuring 18 others. Police said they fired in self-defence.

Three compartments of a train were badly burnt when alleged Jamaat-Shibir men hurled a bomb at the train at Kamalapur Railway Station, police said, adding no-one was hurt in the attack.

Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque, after visiting the spot, accused Jamaat-Shibir men for the attack.

"A loud explosion was heard first and the fire engulfed three compartments within seconds," a senior official with Bangladesh Railway told The Daily Star newspaper. Railway officials rushed to the spot hearing the blast but three compartments were burnt before they managed to bring the fire under control.

Violence in the country escalated on Thursday when a death sentence was handed down to 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami, by International Crimes Tribunal.

The two-day strike called by Jamaat coincided with President Pranab Mukherjee's maiden visit to the country.

Another shutdown has been called by the fundamentalist outfit's alliance partner and main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party led by Khaleda Zia on the last day of the visit by Mukherjee on March 5.

(With PTI Inputs)