Police picked up 44 leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) after they clashed with law enforcers in the capital on Tuesday afternoon.
The clash broke out when the opposition men tried to bring out a procession at the end of a rally in front of their party office at Naya Paltan.
The policemen and the activists hurled brickbats at each other during the half-hour clash that spread to the Nightingale intersection and adjacent areas.
"We are verifying the identities of the detainees," Enamul Haque, additional deputy commissioner (Motijheel Division) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), told The Business Standard.
However, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, senior joint secretary general of BNP, claimed that more than 100 leaders and activists of the party were detained from the procession.
Speaking to journalists following the clash, Abul Ahad, deputy commissioner (Motijheel Division) of DMP, said that after the rally BNP activists attacked the police without any provocation.
Police had to stop the party activists from bringing out the procession, he added.
The police officer said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir ended their rally with his speech and asked the party men not to bring out a procession, but they defied the instructions and brought out the procession and attacked police, said Abul Ahad.
Police were compelled to charge batons and fire several rounds of tear shells to disperse the gathering and bring the situation under control, he added.
Several BNP men and at least six policemen were injured during the clash.
Apart from the BNP secretary-general, several top leaders of the party addressed the rally organised to protest the recent communal attacks in the country and the commodity price hikes.
Mirza Fakhrul blamed the policemen for the clash, saying that law enforcers had started picking up BNP leaders and activists since the morning.
He demanded the immediate release of the party leaders and activists.