With support from its political ally, Bangladesh Nationalist Party(BNP) and other Islamist groups, Jamaat-e-Islami enforced a nation-wide dawn-to-dusk hartal (shutdown) on Tuesday amid sporadic violence .
The hartal, aimed at mounting pressure on the Sheikh Hasina government to release their top brass currently on trial for war crime charges and to stop the war crimes trial, was also apparently intended to show the strength of the party which had violently opposed Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan.
U.S. vehicle targeted
Reports said, the activists of Jamaat’s militant students’ wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, resorted to hit-and-run tactics during the shutdown when Dhaka and other towns witnessed sporadic clashes resulting in injuries to many police and pro-hartal activists. Jamaat activists vandalised a vehicle of the U.S. embassy and also attempted to set fire to it. They also burnt a passenger bus in front of the naval headquarters. The passengers had a narrow escape.
The Khaleda Zia-led 18-party ruling alliance extended support to the Jamaat’s shutdown.