At least 17 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) were arrested after a clash with police in the port city centring a rally on Monday afternoon.
The arrestees include Chattogram City unit BNP Convener Dr Shahadat Hossain, and President of Mohila Dal Monwara Begum Moni.
Following the clash, a police team led by Deputy Commissioner (South) of CMP Mehedi Hasan started a drive at the BNP office and arrested 14 leaders and activists, including Mohila Dal Monwara Begum Moni around 3:30 pm.
In another drive, police arrested BNP city unit Convener Dr Shahadat Hossain, his personal assistant Maruf Hossain and Panchlaish Thana unit BNP President Mohammad Ail from city's Treatment Hospital around 5:30 pm, said Palash Kanti Nath, additional deputy commissioner (South) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP).
He said leaders and activists of the city unit of the BNP organised a rally in front of the Nasiman Bhaban office around 3:30 pm as part of a nationwide programme called by the party.
At one stage, some of them started hurling brick chunks and stones at police personnel from the gathering and locked into a clash with the law enforcement members. The clash left six policemen injured during the clash.
Later, police charged batons on them. There was a chase and counter chase between the activists and policemen and some cocktails were blasted during the clash.
Two of the activists who sustained bullet injuries are undergoing treatment at Chattogram Medical College Hosptial (CMCH), said Alauddin Talukdar, assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of the hospital police outpost.
BNP Chattogram city unit Office Secretary Idris Ali claimed that their leaders and activists conducted a rally peacefully in front of the party office in the afternoon. But police carried out a sudden attack on their party men and foiled their rally. This attack left 25 of their BNP, Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal men injured.
Chattogram city unit Jubo Dal President Mosharraf Hossain Dipti said South District Unit BNP Convener Abdu Sufian was leading a procession. Police barricaded them when they reached the SA Paribahan area.
Police fired on them when they reached the main rally in Lovelein Mor in the city, leaving 12 to 15 of their activists injured. Now they are undergoing treatment at different hospitals in the city, the president added.
Chattogram City unit BNP leader Shahed Iqbal claimed that police carried out a sudden attack on their leaders and activists and foiled their rally.
At least eight of their activists sustained bullet injuries during the attack and 12 others were arrested from the spot, he claimed.