Dhaka: At least four people, including two teenagers, were killed in violence that rocked Bangladesh for the third day on Saturday as the death toll rose to 50 in clashes over death sentence given to a top leader of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for "crimes against humanity" during the 1971 liberation war. Bangladesh police opened fire at Jamaat-e-Islami protesters, killing three people outside the port city of Chittagong.
Three persons, including a teenage boy, were killed in a gunfight between Jamaat and Shibir activists and law enforcers in Satkania area in the morning, the Daily Star reported. In Jaldhaka area, police opened fire to disperse unruly protesters leading to the death of 15-year-old Atiqul Islam. With violence showing no signs of abating, paramilitary border guards have been deployed across the country to beef up security and ease tension that has gripped the nation.
Violence broke out after 73-year-old Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), was sentenced to death by International Crimes Tribunal on Thursday. The deaths brought the total number killed since a war crimes tribunal delivered its first verdict on January 21 to at least 56, according to police figures. Meanwhile, five students of North South University (NSU) were arrested on Friday night in connection with the killing of blogger Ahmed Rajib Haidar.
Rajib, a blogger and activist of Shahbagh movement, was brutally killed by miscreants in the capital's Mirpur area on February 15. At least 46 people were killed till Friday in rioting triggered by the death sentence to Sayedee, who was found guilty of eight counts out of 20, involving rape, mass killings and atrocities during the 1971 freedom war against Pakistan. Officials said that law enforcement agencies appeared to be the prime target of the right-wing JI activists. The tense situation prompted local authorities to enforce ban on gathering of more than four people under section 144 of Criminal Procedure Code in troubled areas, five northwestern and one southwestern district, said to be JI strongholds.