Media van, 2 cars torched, bombs blast after BNP rally in Dhaka

Mayhem after Naya Paltan rally

The outdoor broadcast van belonged to ATN News. Injured driver Mohammad Solaiman was sent to hospital.’s Chief Political Correspondent Sumon Mahmud reported the rally was also followed by a series of bomb blasts around Naya Paltan area.

Paltan Police Station’s Duty Officer Khorshed Alam blamed participants of the rally for the mayhem. “They did it to create terror.”

Traffic in the adjacent areas was disrupted for some time. Additional police force was deployed in the area.

On Sunday night, some motorcycle-borne gunmen opened fire as they sped past BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia's Gulshan office soon after a meeting of the 18-Party Alliance there.

The rally, organised in protest against the firing, began at around 11:45am, Suman Mahmud said. BNP leaders Mirza Abbas and Abdullah Al Noman made speeches at the rally.

Towards the end of the rally, BNP Acting Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam announced a programme for Apr 4 to protest the shooting and called upon the partymen to make Tuesday’s shutdown a success.

Soon after his speech, at around 12:30pm, a white microbus, parked east of the BNP headquarters near Gazi Tower, was set on fire. An ATN News OB van and another private car were also set ablaze.

BNP leaders Fakhrul and Abdullah Al Noman hurried into the office and sealed the gates, Suman Mahmud reported.

ATN News Correspondent Touhid Hassan told that media persons rushed to the scene on seeing the microbus in flames.

Mohammad Solaiman was lying beside the van with burn injuries, Touhid said.

Three youths poured inflammable liquids and set the van on fire, he said citing Solaiman. The driver could barely make it out of the van. Correpsondent Kamal Talukder said other media vehicles tried to rush away from the scene. “The BNP men hurled stones also at the vans of Boishakhi and Maasranga television stations.”

Five crude bombs exploded amidst the mayhem. Water cannons and fire service units were rushed to the spot to douse the flames.

Mirza Fakhrul and other leaders later left the place.



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