Four persons, including policemen, were feared dead and over 100 others injured on Saturday when angry workers clashed while protesting against a factory’s closure without paying their wages, officials and witnesses said.
Unconfirmed reports stated that two workers and female cops each were killed in the clashes at Tongi area, outskirts of the capital, as the closure angered the workers, prompting police to intervene.
Police confirmed reports of two deaths but declined to validate whether any of its personnel were killed at the clash in the Nippon Garments factory that eventually spread in nearby areas blocking the capital’s road links.
Gazipur’s police chief Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman told a private news channel that two female staff were “missing”, while another police official told PTI from the scene that several of the injured policemen, including female staff, were being rushed for treatment.
“The workers were notified that they would be given their outstanding wages today but they saw the lay off notice on reaching the spot,” a local journalist told PTI over the phone from the scene.
Riot police initially tried to confine the workers inside the factory complex but they eventually broke the cordon, and set on fire a number of vehicles on the Dhaka-Mymensingh Highway, he added.
Witnesses said police fired rubber bullets and gas canisters at the mob while trying to bring the situation under control.