4 held, 17 injured over statue removal demonstration

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Dhaka, May 26: At least 17 persons were injured when police swooped on a demonstration with water canons, lobbed teargas shells and fired rubber bullets at the Supreme Court premises on Friday.

Police also arrested four persons from the spot. They were Bangladesh Chhatra Union’s general secretary Liton Nandi, Dhaka College unit president Morshed Halim, Lalbagh unit leader Rafin Joy and Udichi secretary Arif Noor. The injured were admitted to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

The clash broke out when the left-leaning student organisations were proceeding towards the High Court Mazar gate protesting the removal of Greek goddess’ statue from the Supreme Court premises.

Police intercepted the demonstrators when they tried to move ahead removing the barricades on their way. At that time, police dispersed them spraying hot water from the water cannons and lobbing teargas shells. At one stage, the angry students got involved in clash with police.

Witnesses described leaders and activists of some leftist student bodies, including Chhatra Union, Chhatra Front and Chhatra Federation , under the banner of ‘Progatishil Chhatra Jote’ brought out a procession from the Dhaka University campus, protesting the removal of the statue, in the morning.

The protesters reached the front of Supreme Court intersection, where police obstructed them, leading to a scuffle.

At one stage, police lobbed tear gas canister and water canon to disperse them, which left 17 people injured.

The injured were taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

In protest against the removal of statue, the demonstrators called for demonstration at all educational institutions in the country on Saturday.

They also demanded of the government to set up the statue at its previous place.

Earlier on Friday midnight, the statue of the Greek goddesses was removed from the Supreme Court premises.