The leaders and activists of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh turned violent in Brahmanbaria and Dhaka on Sunday during their daylong hartal.
At least two hartal supporters were killed and dozens injured in clashes with law enforcement agencies in Brahmanbaria today.
Hefazat men went berserk in Brahmanbaria from the morning. They attacked, vandalised, and set fire to several government offices, banks and other private establishments there. They also hurled stones at a Chattogram-bound train, forcing authorities to suspend rail link on the route. Sarail upazila witnessed most violence today.
In Dhaka, Hefazat leaders and activists staged protests in front of Baitul Mukarram today. They brought out several processions and paraded in between Paltan and Dainikbangla intersections.
They also locked into chase and counter chase with ruling Awami League men in Paltan area. None was reportedly injured there.
However, hartal supporters clashed with law enforcers in Shanarpar area on Dhaka-Chattogram highway in Narayanganj.
They also vandalised and set fire to several vehicles including buses.
In Chattogram, Hefazat leaders and activists staged a protest taking position on roads in Patiya upazila. Around 3,000 Hefazat men took to the streets today. All vehicular movements remained suspended in Patiya since morning.
In Rajshahi, Hefazat men set fire to two BRTC buses at a terminal in the morning.
The Islamist group enforced a nationwide hartal on Sunday protesting over the deaths of its activists in Chattogram and Brahmanbaria, and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bangladesh visit.
At least seven buses were torched and set on fire in some areas of the capital and Rajshahi since Sunday morning.
Two trucks, a bus and a covered van were torched in the capital's Signboard's Kachpur area. Two buses of Bangladesh Road Transport and Corporation (BRTC) were set on fire at Rajshahi Truck Terminal in the city's Amchattar area on Sunday at around 6:30am.
Leaders and activists of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh have blocked Dhaka-Chattogram and Dhaka-Sylhet highways, and taken position on different roads in the capital as they enforced daylong hartal since Sunday morning.
They were seen chanting slogans in support of the hartal in some places in the capital.
They burned tyres in Jatrabari and Mohammadpur area. No violence has been reported so far.
Law enforcement agencies are on alert position centring the hartal.
In Chattogram, the overall situation is almost normal in the port city.
Although heavy traffic was seen less on different roads of the city in early morning, the number of vehicles has increased gradually.
Besides, members of Police, RAB and BGB have taken positions in different parts of the port city and they are patrolling on various roads with APC and water cannons.
Work is underway in garment factories located in different parts of the city including Chittagong Export Processing Zone. Besides, all kinds of activities of Chittagong port are normal.
In Brahmanbaria, Hefazat leaders and activists, and madrasa students took position at various points of the district town in support of the hartal since early morning.
However, no untoward incident has been reported anywhere, but vehicle movement remains suspended. Law enforcement officers were seen patrolling in the town.
They brought out a procession from Jamia Islamia Younusia Madrasa in Kandipara around 8 am.
They also set fire to electric poles on the city's main road (TA Road) in the morning and obstructed traffic.
Besides, all shops in the town remain closed due to the hartal. No long distance bus left from the district.
In Noakhali, the leaders and activists of Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh are observing the daylong strike in Noakhali by blocking roads in different area.
Picketing was seen in different areas including the town since Sunday morning in support of the strike.
Long route vehicles are not moving although some small vehicles were plying as the day progressed. Police are on alert to avoid any unwanted situation.
They also staged a procession in support of the strike in Maijde.
Supporters of the strike have been blocking the road and obstructing traffic with tree trunks at various places on the Feni-Noakhali regional highway including Chaumuhani Bazar, Chaumuhani Chaurasta and Zamindarhat Bazar since morning. Upon receiving the news, the police reached the spot and removed them.
Hefazat workers also set fire to tires on the road in multiple places. However, till 11:30 am, no untoward incident was reported anywhere in the district.
District Superintendent of Police Md Alamgir Hossain said, "The members of the law enforcement agencies have been on alert since dawn to deal with all kinds of situations centring the strike. Police patrols have been increased at important places and roads in the district. Additional police have been deployed in each upazila to ensure the safety of the people."
Hefazat leader Mamunul Haque Saturday threatened to launch a tougher movement if the government tries to hinder their nationwide hartal.
Besides, leaders of Dhaka Road Transport Owners' Samity declared to operate buses and minibuses in Dhaka and adjacent areas on Sunday ignoring the nationwide day-long hartal.
Hefazat called the hartal on Friday in protest of police action that left four people dead in Chattogram and one in Brahmanbaria when their activists clashed with police during protests.
Later on Saturday, five more Hefazat activists were killed and dozens injured as they clashed with police and BGB members in Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila.
Hefazat and some other Islamist groups have been demonstrating in Dhaka, Chattogram, Brahmanbaria and some other districts for the last few days against the visit of Narendra Modi to Bangladesh.