The country’s premium multi-sport venue, the Bangabandhu National Stadium bore the marks of the vicious vandalism by the activists of Hefajat-e-Islam on Sunday, leading to the cancellation of yesterday’s Bangladesh Premier League fixture between Sheikh Russel KC and Feni Soccer Club.
The activists of Hefajat-e-Islam entered the venue after breaking down Gate-17 and the giant gate under the torch at the northern part of the stadium at about 5:00pm on Sunday and unleashed vicious vandalism inside the stadium.
It seems that the rage of the Hefajat-e-Islam was on the sports journalists as they fully vandalised the 150-seater press box. All the glasses of the press box had been smashed and up to 50 chairs were uprooted. The giant glass window of the president box was also shattered. The fixed chairs on the gallery in front of the press box were also broken and so were the eight dugouts, athletics store-rooms, dressing room doors, entrance gates of VVIP gallery, time-keeping house of the track and field, electronic stop watch, electrical cables, sound system of the stadium, and worst of all; a small part of the Tk 10-crore athletics track.
The activists also vandalised outside the stadium, breaking glasses of security rooms of the stadium parking area and uprooting the ornamental ceramic bricks including the guide wall of the stadium road.
They also set fire to a private car and two motorcycles in front of the National Sports Council, which also suffered after some basement glasses had been broken.A security guard of BNS informed that some 300 to 400 agitated people, most of them young, entered the stadium with bamboo sticks and brick pieces and proceeded to vandalise everything in sight. They even advanced to vandalise the VVIP box and ICC president Box.
Mohammad Yahia, administrator of the stadium, said that he along with security guards protected the grand area of the stadium at the risk of their life.
Terming the stadium vandalism as an unprecedented incident, state minister for youth and sports Ahad Ali Sarker said that they have already judged the damage of the stadium and would make the venue ready for sport as soon as possible.
The BFF has shifted the Sheikh Russel-Feni Soccer match to today but Yahia was not sure whether they would able to hold the match on schedule.