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50 hurt in clash at Miranzilla Harijan colony

Published : 10 Jul 2024 10:45 PM

More than 50 people were injured in a clash between the members of Harijan community and the supporters of a ward councillor at Bangshal in the capital on Wednesday. 

At least 16 people of the injured, including political activists and community members, are currently receiving treatment at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH).

Witnesses said that the clash took place in the Miranzilla Sweeper Colony near Aga Sadek Road around 12:30 pm.

The two sides chased each other for at least half an hour. At that time, the members of Harijan community alleged that the temple inside the colony was vandalised. Earlier, a press conference was organised there protesting the decision to evict the members of Harijan community.

After the incident, police were deployed as uneasy calm was prevailing in Miranzilla area. 

Mokbul Hossain (50), former Jubo League organising secretary of Ward No 33, and Naeem (40), a member of Awami League's Agasadek unit, were among the injured. 

Fourteen of the injured from the Harijan community were identified as Md Rubel (38), Rubel Gazi (35), Subal Lal (36), Rumon Das (35), Uday Kumar (20), Rishi Kumar (19), Birul Das (24), Bimaldas (40), Karun Das (35), Shiblal (40), Prashant (13), Niranjan Das (75), Niloy Das (18), and Deepdas (10).

According to Mokbul Hossain, tensions escalated during an eviction drive led by Executive Magistrate Md Muniruzzaman along with Ward No 33's councillor Awal Hossain and his supporters. Allegedly, when asked to vacate, the Harijan community members began hurling bricks, prompting retaliation.

Uday Kumar, a Harijan community member, said, "We were holding a press conference protesting the eviction around 10 am. Before its conclusion, the magistrate, police, and councillor's supporters entered the colony. While the magistrate and police allowed entry, the councillor's men were resisted, resulting in violence."

Bachchu Mia, in-charge of the DMCH police camp, confirmed that sixteen individuals received first aid.

Officials of property department of Dhaka South City Corporation said that the corporation has about 3.27 acres of land in Miranzilla Sweeper Colony. People of Harijan community have been living there for a long time. Dhaka South City wants to build a market on 27 percent of the land on one side of the colony. So, some houses have to be demolished. The members of the Harijan community later went to the court to prevent the eviction. On June 13, the court ordered a 30-day status quo on the eviction process of Harijan members in Miranjilla sweeper colony.