Home / Bangladesh / Madrassa student’s death sparks violence in B’baria : BGB, RAB deployed in town; ASP, OC closed

Madrassa student’s death sparks violence in B’baria : BGB, RAB deployed in town; ASP, OC closed

41Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and additional police were deployed to restore order in Brahmanbaria following widespread violence by madrassa students after the death of a fellow student on Tuesday, who was injured in clashes with police, traders and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) supporters on Monday evening. The madrassa students ransacked the railway station and the local Awami League (AL) office, set ablaze railway tracks, and blockaded roads and rail lines.
Train communications of Dhaka with Sylhet and Chittagong remained halted for nearly nine hours following the blockade. The angry students, backed by teachers of the madrassa, called a dawn-to-dusk hartal in the district for Wednesday in protest against the death of 20-year-old Hafej Masudur Rahman. However, they withdraw the strike programme later in the day.
The violence spread over the junction town, 110km east of Dhaka, from 7pm to 11pm, in front of the Jamia Islamia Yunusia Madrassa, where Rahman was a student. There had been an altercation, involving two madrassa students and a cell-phone dealer, at a local market on Monday. Following this, a few hundred students attacked the shop, alleged the trader, identified as Rony. Later, other traders from the market and activists of the BCL also got involved in the melee. Several students, including Masudur Rahman, were injured during the trouble.
Rahman succumbed to his injuries at the Sadar Hospital around 3am yesterday.
The madrassa students and their teachers have demanded trial of those responsible for Rahman’s death, attributing it to the police and BCL activists, a charge they have denied.
The death angered the madrassa students, who went on a rampage throughout the town from 7am yesterday, staging demonstrations
after taking up positions on the main street of the town. They damaged a branch of Bank Asia and tore down billboards of different Awami League leaders and workers.
The agitators blockaded the railroad and set fire to the tracks. They also vandalised the railway station and the control panel, stopping movement of trains from Dhaka to Chittagong and Sylhet.
The irate madrassa students, accompanied by their teachers, also vandalised the Industrial School, Shahid Dhirendranath Dutta Memorial Library and Shishu Nattyam. They torched the local Awami League office and Ustad Alauddin Khan Sangitangan. Later, they also rampaged through the Sadar Hospital in the afternoon. The local administration had to call in the BGB; some four platoons were brought in to quell the situation, backed by extra police and RAB forces. Tension, however, continued to simmer in the town.
The late Hafej Masudur Rahman was a student of the Jamia Yunusia Madrassa, whose students complained that the police entered the madrassa complex last night, after breaking open its locked entrance, and swooped down on the students.
The Sadar model police acknowledged the student’s death, but district superintendent of police Tapas Ranjan Ghosh said no one was killed during police action.
UNB adds: In another development, assistant police super Taposh and officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station Akul Chandra Biswas have been withdrawn over the violence.
They were asked to report to the office of the Deputy Inspector General of Chittagong range, said police.
Police on Tuesday formed a three-member committee to look into the incident. The probe panel has been asked to submit its report within three working days.