An activist of the Jamaat-e-Islami party was killed and dozens others were injured in a clash between police and the Islamist party supporters in Bangladesh's Meherpur district Thursday, media reported.
The Jamaat-e-Islami called a 48-hour countrywide shutdown Wednesday to protest the verdict of the Supreme Court sentencing to death senior party leader Abdul Quader Mollah, The Daily Star reported.
Delwar Hossain, 40, a Jamaat activist, got killed in a clash during the shutdown, while the condition of a sub-inspector is stated to be critical, Meherpur police chief A.K.M. Nahidul Islam was quoted as saying by Xinhua.
Bangladesh's Islamist party leader killed in clash with police
The injured include five policemen who have been admitted to a hospital in Meherpur, the officer added.
Jamaat's Meherpur spokesperson Sirajul Islam claimed that at least 10 activists sustained bullet injuries during the clash.
However, police could not confirm whether Hossain suffered bullet injuries.
Hundreds of Jamaat men built barricades at a road intersection in Mujibnagar sub-district of Meherpur, some 240 km west of capital Dhaka, Islam said.
At one stage, police chased the pro-shutdown activists when they fought running battles with the law enforcers, the police officer said, adding that Jamaat men hurled crude bombs and brickbats at the law enforcers while fleeing.
He said police opened fire with live ammunition rounds to protect themselves from about several hundred protesters armed with lethal weapons.
Stray incidents of clash, arson and vandalism were also reported in the national capital Dhaka and elsewhere in the country Thursday.
Hours after the appellate division of the Supreme Court awarded the capital punishment to assistant secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Party Abdul Quader Mollah on Tuesday, the party called a 48-hour nationwide shutdown.
The party alleged that "the government has been hatching conspiracy to kill its leaders" and termed the move as "state-sponsored repression".
Six current and former leaders, including Mollah of Bangladesh Jamaat, have already been sentenced to either death or life imprisonment for crimes against humanity linked to the country's war of independence in 1971.
Apart from several other Jamaat senior officials, two leaders of Khaleda Zia's Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) are also standing trial on charges of crimes against humanity.