Dhaka: Bangladesh was on the boil on Thursday as at least 23 people, including three policemen, were killed and scores injured in violence after a death sentence was handed down to a top leader of the fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami for "crimes against humanity" during the 1971 liberation war.
The violence followed the verdict of the special Bangladeshi tribunal that handed down death penalty to Delwar Hossain Sayedee, vice-president of the party, amid a nationwide shutdown called by Jamaat-e-Islami (JI).
"He (Delwar Hossain Sayedee) will be hanged by neck till he is dead," pronounced chairman of the three-judge International Crimes Tribunal Justice ATM Fazle Kabir.
At least 23 people were killed as the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir went on the rampage across the country after Sayedee's verdict, the Daily Star reported.
The victims included the cops, activists of Jamaat, Shibir, Juba League and common people.
Of the deceased, six people, including three policemen, were killed in Gaibandha, four in Thakurgaon, three in Satkhira, two each in Rangpur, Noakhali and Sirajganj while one each in Dinajpur, Natore, Cox's Bazar and Chapainawabganj.
In Gaibandha after the verdict several thousand supporters of the Islamic party attacked a police outpost in Sundarganj upazila.
They beat three policemen to death and set fire to the outpost. In response, police opened fire, leaving three people killed.
In Thakurgaon about 1,500 Jamaat-Shibir men took out a procession after the verdict and attacked shops and houses of Awami League men and the Hindu community.
Police and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) teams rushed there and fired blank shots and tear shells to disperse the attackers.
Encircling the police, the marauding Jamaat-Shibir men started to throw brick-bats and, at one stage, closed in to fight them. Police opened fire to escape, leaving one dead on the spot and about eight to 10 injured.