Bangladesh strike: Police assault Opposition chief whip
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Bangladesh strike: Police assault Opposition chief whip

The first day [July 6] of the 48-hour strike called by the four party alliance led by Bangladesh Nationalist Party saw a brutal police assault on Opposition Chief Whip Zainul Abdin Farroque.

The beating that Farroque received left him bleeding from the head. He was later rushed to the United Hospital.

Following the incident, most ruling and opposition party politicians protested against the incident. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina also expressed “I’m really sorry” during her valedictory speech in Parliament on July 7.

Daily Star quoted Hasina as saying, however, it is also not expected that a Member of Parliament would pelt brickbats at vehicles or attack police. “Rather, it is expected that a Member of Parliament will be restrained and gentle in his behaviour,” she said before mentioning that she herself is “enquiring about the treatment of the Opposition chief whip”.

The government has formed a probe committee to investigate the police assault on Zainul Abdin Farroque, State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku said on Thursday.

On the same day, State Minister for Home Shamsul Haque Tuku told the media that the government has formed a probe committee to investigate the police assault. The three-member committee formed by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and headed by DMP Additional Commissioner Abdul Jalil, have been asked to submit its report within seven days.

Also, on July 7, Daily Star reported that Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police filed a case against 10 to 12 people including Abdin on charge of assaulting police.

When ABM Ashrafuddin Nizan MP went to Sher-e-Bangla Police Station with other BNP lawmakers at around 3.30pm to file a case against senior police officials for assaulting Farroque, the police declined to take the case. “As there is already a case against Farroque, we can’t lodge the case without permission from the higher authorities,” said Tanveer Hassan, a sub-inspector of Sher-e-Bangla Police Station, to reporters later.

Although Sahara Khatun, the home minister, regretted the incident, she added that Zainul received head injuries as he fell down while scuffling with the police officials. Sahara claimed that the people did not respond to the hartal called to “protect Khaleda Zia’s two sons, killers of the August 21 carnage and the war criminals”.

BNP and its allies called the strike following the 15th amendment to the Constitution by the ruling party.