10 protesters shot, 40 more hurt

Narayanganj, Oct 23 (bdnews24.com) – At least 50 people have been injured, including 10 gunshot wounds, in a clash over acquisition of about 5,000 bighas (165,000 decimals) of land for an army project.

People became injured when the police opened fired and charged batons on about 7,000 demonstrators blocking the Rupganj-Ichhapura road for four hours from around 6am on Saturday, Rupganj police chief Forkan Shikder said.

The two parties clashed at one of chase and counter-chase.

The police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) brought the situation under control around noon when they opened fire, charged batons and fired tear-shells.

Additional police was deployed to prevent further clashes.

The 10 protesters wounded by bullets have been admitted in Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH). One sub-inspector has also been injured.

Witnesses said 7,000-8,000 residents from 24 moujas under Kayetpara and Rupganj Unions started demonstrating against the acquisition of land for an army housing project.

They vandalised some seven or eight vehicles during the demonstration.

Locals alleged the army housing project initiated a housing named Purbachal Upashahar on 5,000 bighas of Rupganj Union.

They said the newly-set up army camps at Purbagram, Mushuri, Bariachhoni and Naora villages of Rupganj are compelling the locals to sell their land to the project at extremely cheap prices.

Moreover, they have prevented the residents of Chobbish Mouja from having their land registered, locals said.

Apart from demonstration, local residents on Saturday morning held a protest rally at Rupganj’s Kazi Abdul Hamid High School premises.

Locals said the movement has been going on for several months.

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