Wednesday, February 20, 2019 | ePaper

Ivy among 50 injured

N'ganj turns into battle ground: MP Osman's men attack Mayor Ivy's supporters; Clash over hawkers eviction; Police role questioned

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Dozens including Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy and a journalist were injured in a clash between supporters of the mayor and Local MP Shamim Osman on Tuesday over re-settling hawkers who were evacuated earlier.

Staff Reporter :
At least 50 people, including Narayanganj City Corporation (NCC) Mayor Dr Selina Hayat Ivy, were injured, five of them critically, when clashes took place between two rival groups-local lawmaker Shamim Osman backed hawkers and followers of the mayor-centering hawkers eviction at Chashara of Narayanganj town on Tuesday afternoon.
More than 20 injured persons were rushed to different local hospitals while the NCC mayor took primary treatment as she sustained minor injurys in her leg, said our Narayanganj correspondent after visiting the spot.
Five of the injured were shifted to Dhaka Medical College and Hospital (DMCH) from Narayanganj in critical condition, said Asaduzzaman, Medical Officer of Narayanganj General Hospital.
"Mayor Ivy was hit by a stone in her leg at the time," said her brother Ali Ahmed Ripon.
The clash ensued after Ivy along with her followers went to Chashara area to oversee the illegal occupation on footpaths, said Saraf Uddin, Assistant Superintendent of Police in Narayanganj.
On information, police rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control charging baton and lobbing teargas shells, the ASP said.
The hawkers occupied the footpaths in the area     in the afternoon, a day after ruling Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman "gave permission" to them to sit on the footpaths, the police official said.
A witness told The New Nation seeking anonymity,  "Protesting the matter, the mayor started to walk down the footpaths with her supporters from her NCC office around 4:30pm. As she went to Chashara area, hawkers hurled brickbats and stones at them, triggering the clash. Later, police fired several rounds of blank shots to disperse the clashing people."
On Monday, Shamim Osman MP, at a rally organised by the hawkers in the city, gave permission to them to sit at the footpath from 4:00pm to 10:00pm until February 21. Following the permission, the hawkers occupied the footpaths yesterday, 21 days after they were driven out from there by the city corporation authorities, according to him.
Dr Selina Hayat Ivy told the media that Pro-Shamim goons open fired and threw pieces of stones and brickbats targeting the peace-loving people who were chanting 'hawkers free footpath' in the area around 4:30pm.
They attacked us after getting istrustrution from Shamim Osman when the members of law enforcing agencies showed the role almost silence to favour of the lawmaker, she claimed.
The mayor also alleged that police informed her that they have no permission to take tough action.  
"I don't fear of the death. I walked on the footpath as normal defying the threat of the lawmaker. The goons attacked us with arms and stone-brick pieces like rain," the mayor told the reporters.
She demanded suspension of the Deputy Commissioner  (DC) and the Superintendent of police (SP) of Narayanganj.
Narayanganj constituency-4 lawmaker Shamim Osman said that the supporters of the mayor fired targeting the hawkers in the presence of police.
In an allegation of attack instruction, the MP said that he instructed his followers to avoid the clash and kept in calm.
He also said that the issue would be solved by holding discussion among the concerned factions and local administration officials.
Moinul Haq, SP of the district, said that police tried to take control  over the situation peacefully to convince the rival groups.
Police fired rubber bullets and teargas shells to disparate the demonstrators to save lives and properties, the police official said.
Additional police and RAB personnel were deployed in the area to avert any further untoward situation, the SP said.

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