At least 30 people sustained injuries in clashes between several hundred students of Dhaka College and traders in the area on Thursday afternoon when around 40 shops were vandalised, several vehicles were set to fire.
Police fired rubber bullets, lobbed up teargas canisters and also resorted to charge batons to bring the situation under their control.
During the clashes, vehicular movement on the roads in the area also remained suspended for hours causing severe traffic jam and untold sufferings to people. Following the clash, all the shops of around seven markets in the area were shutdown.
Among the injured persons, Nur Islam, 48, Hamida Begum, 40, Roni, 26, Alamgir Hossain, 30, and Shahto, 20, were admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Witnesses said the clash erupted at around 3:15pm through chase and counter chase among the Dhaka College students and traders at Dhanmondi Hawkers Market. Later, traders from other markets also join in the fight that lasted for an hour.
During the clashes, both the groups pelted brickbats to each other and also went on rampages as well as set vehicles on fire. At one stage, police resorted to charge batons and then fired rubber bullets and lobbed up teargas canisters targeting clashing people from both the groups.
But the cause behind the clash could not be ascertained immediately although some of the students and traders claimed that all this happened over the purchasing of a saree from the hawkers market.
Traders alleged that two boys along with a woman and a child went to a shop of the market, chose three shares and wanted to leave the shop without paying the price of the sarees which worth of Tk 60,000. They told the shopkeepers that they were from Dhaka College and had power in the city. The four left the shop after the angry shopkeepers hurled abusive language at them.
Around 20 minutes later, some 25 Dhaka College students returned in a group with local weapons including iron rods and matches and vandalised and looted around 40 shops at the market. Later, around 500 students and 1,000 traders joined in the clash.
Jasim Uddin, additional police commissioner at Ramna Division, said they fired around 50 rounds of rubber bullets, sound grenades and teargas canisters to bring the situation under control.
Vehicular movement on the roads in the area resumed after 5:30pm amid a tense situation. Large number of forces was deployed to check further clash, he added.