JCD activists clash with police in city; over 40 injured

Over 50 people, including cops, were injured in a series of clashes between the activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) and police in front the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka on Sunday morning.

The trouble began around 11 am as police reportedly obstructed them from holding a rally in protest against the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed and demanding abolition of the Digital Security Act.

Witnesses said the JCD activists gathered in front the Press Club in the morning. As they tried to stage demonstrations around 11 am, police obstructed them saying that they do not have any permission to hold a rally.

At one stage of altercation over the issue, police charged baton on the JCD men and fired teargas shells to disperse them.

The JCD men also hurled brickbats at the police, leading to a series of clashes that lasted for about 40 minutes.

When some JCD men took shelter at the Press Club premises, police chased them and beat them up.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir was inside the Press Club when the clash broke out and he then left the place in a car.

JCD president Fazlur Rahman Khokon said over 50 people, including JCD activists, ATN Bangla senior cameraperson Mamun and some 5-6 staffers of the Jatiya Press Club were injured in the clash. Police picked up some JCD activists from the spot, he added.

Ramna Zone DC Sazzadur Rahman told reporters that permission from the DMP Commissioner is needed to hold such a programme at any place of Dhaka city but JCD did not take any such permission from the Dhaka Metropolitan (DMP). Legal action will be taken against them, he said.

Writer Mushtaq reportedly suffered a heart attack inside his cell at Kashimpur Prison on Thursday evening. "He was rushed to Shaheed Tajuddin Medical College Hospital where he was declared brought dead," Senior Jail Superintendent Md Gias Uddin said.

An unnatural death case has been filed with Sadar Police Station under Gazipur Metropolitan Police in connection with Mushtaq's custodial death.

The 53-year-old writer, who published the book "Kumir Chaasher Diary" under the pen name Michael Kumir Thakur, was picked up by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel from his Lalmatia home on May 2, allegedly for posts over the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On August 20, he was shifted to Kashimpur prison, Gias Uddin said.

Calls for Mushtaq's release were widespread and sustained throughout his time in prison. Soon after his arrest, more than 300 dignitaries in Bangladesh issued a joint statement demanding his release.

However, his bail applications were turned down on at least four occasions.

Left-leaning student bodies, including Bangladesh Chhatra Front, Chhatra Federation and Bangladesh Students Rights Protection Council, on Friday and Saturday staged demonstrations on the Dhaka University campus, protesting the death of writer Mushtaq Ahmed under police custody.

Source: United News of Bangladesh