Dhaka: Violence broke out on Sunday after main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and its rightwing allies enforced a nationwide eight-hour road blockade protesting scrapping of non-party caretaker government system for election oversight.
Witnesses said several people were injured in sporadic incidents of violence as the activists torched and vandalized vehicles, clashed with police and exploded homemade bombs.
Police said they were forced to chase "unruly activists" wielding batons and hurling tear gas canisters as protestors exploded crude bombs and vandalized vehicles.
The elite anticrime Rapid Action Battalion was also called out to patrol streets.
Police and witnesses said the activists ransacked at least 11 motor vehicles including buses and a vehicle carrying journalists of media organisation, one of four entry points to capital Dhaka.
"They (activists) began their programme with violence... in most cases they came out from narrow lanes or houses and launched sudden attacks on us with bombs, sticks and brickbats," a police official said. The official was monitoring the situation at the police control room.
Officials said around 12,000 additional forces have been called in to work with police and RAB while the Dhaka district administration constituted 19 mobile courts to take instant punitive measures against troublemakers.
Police also picked up at least 10 pro-pickets from different spot for vandalism in the city streets and obstructing vehicle movement.
BNP earlier urged people not to bring their vehicles on roads during the blockade and threatened the government of ruling Awami League of tougher steps if it created any obstacle.


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