Slum dwellers clash with rly men: 10 hurt

At least 10 people were injured as slum dwellers and Bangladesh Railway (BR) security personnel clashed for around one hour in the city’s North Shahjahanpur Railway Colony yesterday when the personnel went there on an eviction drive.

Four of the injured were slum dwellers, among whom Mohammad Shahid, 18, and Tara Bibi, 55, sustained gunshot wounds and were being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital. They claimed the personnel opened fire on them.

The six others were BR security personnel.

Government Railway Police (GRP) detained four people in connection with the incident.

Witnesses said a team of GRP and BR security personnel led by a BR estate officer went to the colony around 11:00am to evict the slum dwellers.

When the team refused to give the dwellers time to shift their belongings, male and female slum dwellers armed with brickbats and sticks attacked the team, they said.

After one hour of chase and counter-chase, Motijheel police joined GRP, driving back the dwellers, they added.

One slum dweller Ilyas Akhand told this correspondent that the team launched the eviction drive without giving any consideration to the plight of the slum dwellers, who have been living there for a long time.

Ilyas claimed that the team charged baton and fired eight to 10 rounds of bullets, injuring 20 slum dwellers.

BR Divisional Estate Officer Ahmadul Haque denied the allegations of firing bullets and said the team, comprised of 30 GRP and BR security personnel and more than 100 hired labourers, left after demolishing 50 shanties.

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