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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
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Jamaat, Shibir strike terror

Attack on police across country, blast bombs, smash 200 vehicles in protest against war trial

Vehicles set alight by Jamaat-Shibir men during a clash with law enforcers in the capital's Motijheel area yesterday morning. Inset, police take their colleague injured by the rioting activists. Photo: Amran Hossain

Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir yesterday unleashed terror on police in the capital and elsewhere to mount pressure on the government to stop the war crimes trials.

Once again, their hit-and-run assaults caught the law enforcers off guard in Dhaka, Chittagong, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Joypurhat and Satkhira.

The Jamaat-Shibir mayhem left at least 70 people, including 50 cops, injured. A policeman and an auto-rickshaw driver in Chittagong suffered bullet wounds as Shibir activists opened fire.

They smashed around 200 vehicles across the country.

Neither Jamaat nor its student wing had called a programme for yesterday.

But around 10:00am yesterday, the Jamaat-Shibir men brought out militant processions simultaneously in Dhaka, Chittagong and Rajshahi cities, welding firearms, sharp weapons, iron rods, hockey sticks and brick chips.

The activists from one such procession in the capital's Motijheel area started exploding bombs and beating up cops, sending a wave of panic among passengers, pedestrians and employees of roadside offices and business houses.

They gradually spread to Dainik Banglar Mor, stadium market, Paltan, Bangladesh Secretariat, Jagannath University, Dhaka University and Dhanmondi areas and rampaged for over an hour.

Traffic in Motijheel, Paltan and Gulistan and Jatiya Press Club areas remained suspended for over an hour.

Four vehicles were torched and many others vandalised.

Some cops were seen running for safety while some tried to fight back. Those who took shelter in nearby offices were hunted down by armed cadres and beaten up.

Surprisingly, law enforcers did not use newly introduced pepper sprays on the attackers.

Anwar Hossain, deputy commissioner (Motijheel) of police, said they fired more than 250 rubber bullets and 100 teargas canisters. Police also arrested 48 activists with bottles of petrol.

Police also fired over a hundred rounds from Chinese rifles and shotguns.

Following the attacks, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the violence had proved intelligence failure.

He added, "I thought the militancy has been wiped out, but today's incident shows that I was wrong.”

He made the comments after visiting Rajarbagh Police Lines Hospital where Constable Delwar Hossain, a member of the unit that escorts the minister, was admitted. The policeman was severely injured in an attack near Bangladesh Secretariat.

Talking to journalists at the secretariat, Home Minister MK Alamgir did not with Muhith. "I do not find any failure of police or intelligence."

Surprisingly, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandker claimed they already had information on the Jamaat-Shibir plan for yesterday. "As police played due roles, Jamaat and Shibir could not carry out criminals activities completely as per their plan."

The attack in front of the secretariat took place around 10:15am, not more than five minutes after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had entered the secretariat to hold a cabinet meeting.

On condition of anonymity, two sub-inspectors of the VIP Protocol Unit, said during the attack, the policemen, who were on duty for the security of the secretariat and ministers, took shelter inside the compound closing the main gate.

They said those who failed to enter the secretariat became easy prey for the rioters. Some cops, however, fired gunshots from inside.

The attackers ran away when additional forces came.

Asked how come such violence sparked in front of the secretariat where the PM was present, DC Nurul Islam said, "The Jamaat-Shibir men carried out the attacks and vandalisms while fleeing after they were chased by the police from Stadium Market area."

Four cases were filed last night in connection with the violence in the capital.

Two cases -- one under Speedy Trial Tribunal Act and the other under Explosive Act -- were filed with Paltan Police Station against 17 identified and five to six hundred unidentified persons.

In the two cases filed with Motijheel police station, police named 30 persons while accused 400-500 unidentified persons.

Also yesterday, at least 12 people, including 10 policemen, were wounded in a clash between Jamaat and police in Banshkhali upazila of Chittagong.

Of them, auto-rickshaw driver Nurul Huda and Abdul Momen of Paschim Chambal of Banshkhali were hit with bullets.

Nurul Huda was admitted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital (CMCH) with wound in the head and Momen with injury in the abdomen.

Of the seriously injured policemen, Sub-Inspector Md Ataul, and constables Md Quader, Ahabul and Kashem were also rushed to the CMCH, said Sub-Inspector Md Zahir of Banshkhali Police Station.

The trouble in Banshkhali began at noon as police asked the Jamaat-Shibir activists not to put up a banner. The banner read the demand for release of Delwar Hossain Sayedee, now facing trial for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War, 1971.

According to police sources, Jamaat's Banshkhali unit Ameer Jahirul Islam was arrested in connection with the violence, reports Prothom Alo.

Chittagong district (south) unit Jamaat called a dawn-to-dusk hartal for today protesting the arrest of Jahirul Islam, a party statement said.

In Satkhira, Jamaat men attacked law enforcers and vandalised a police van after they brought out a procession in Sundarbans Textiles Mill area at about 5:00pm demanding release of their leaders who are accused of war crimes.

Seven policemen were injured in the attack.

Law enforcers arrested two Shibir activists in connection with the incident.

In another incident, five persons were injured when around 40 to 50 Shibir men attacked law enforcers and hurled at least 10 cocktails at the policemen from a procession at Binodpur in Rajshahi around 10:00am.

The law enforcers lobbed teargas canisters and fired rubber bullets to disperse the attackers, said Shah Golam Mahmud, deputy commissioner of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police (east zone).

Police picked up seven people after the clash, he added.

In Dinajpur, Jamaat men indiscriminately beat up Md Mamun, a sub-inspector of Dinajpur Kotwali Police Station, in the morning leaving him injured. They also vandalised two police vans.

Jamaat activists launched the attack on law enforcers after they brought out a procession from Nimtola intersection in the town at around 10:10am demanding release of their detained leaders, said Md Abdul Kader Zilani, officer-in-charge of the police station.

Police arrested two Shibir activists from Amtoli intersection in the town while Shibir men were staging a demonstration and setting fire to tires in the morning.

Witnesses and police said Shibir men brought out a procession at Laxmipur intersection at around 5:00pm. As police intercepted the procession, they went away. Minutes later, several hundred Jamaat-Shibir activists took out a sudden procession from RMCH main gate, damaged vehicles and blasted cocktails.

Federation of Bangladesh Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FBCCI) and cultural personalities yesterday condemned the Jamaat attacks on police and vandalism across the country.

The FBCCI expressed concern over the attacks and condemned Jamaat for attacking police, damaging and setting alight vehicles and blasting cocktails in the capital and other parts of the country.

Such vandalism in Motijheel, the commercial hub of the capital, during office hours created panic among people and caused huge losses to businesses, FBCCI said in a statement.

In a statement, 251 cultural activists of Bangabandhu Sangskritik Jote criticised the Jamaat vandalism, and said Jamaat-Shibir men are carrying out such attacks to protect war criminals.

Arun Sarkar Rana, general secretary of the organisation, actors Aly Zaker, Ferdousi Majumdar, Alamgir and Pijush Bandopadhyay are among the signatories.

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The people who are involved in designing systems, they always ask the operating parameters and constraints so that they can put safety valves to protect the system and its owner from unlikely event of failure. Bangladesh politics is running like a high pressure vessel without any safety valves. The almighty BCL are unbridle menacing machine unleashing terrors everywhere however they remain outlawed and protected by administration and most notably police and justice system are extending their warm hands to them. When student groups belonging to Jamaat or so to speak any other are dealt with different yardsticks and laws, the system is bound to explode.

: Jumana Sarwar

Who make heinous activities across the country do not have morality. The Jamaat-Shibir cadres must be brought under proper justice.

: selim reza sirajganj govt college


  • Roni Rahman
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 01:48 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    We reap what we sow. The Shibir activists did not do anything different than the BCL have been doing every day. If the govt allows and encourages political crimes and vandalisms, on what logic doing the same by Shibir be painted differently? The govt cannot cherry pick the crime. Unfortunately, this incident only shows the depth of the violent political culture we have created and still nurturing. Today it is Shibir, yesterday it was BCL and tomorrow it will be JCD. The problem is our whole political culture. Did the govt seriously expect no repercussion after the last 4 years of serial and systematic persecution, imprisonment and violation of political rights of oppositions such as Shibir/Jamaat/BNP?

  • Barkat
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 02:36 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Every action have equal and opposite reaction. The government of AL is entirely responsible for creating such atmosphere that only option left out for opposition is to fight in the street. Unfair and biased police with corrupt judiciary will only result in chaos. Police terror is equally condemnable.

  • naabaj
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 02:54 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Enough is enough. Please ban the politics of terror. Jamaat are illegal entity in the country and is fed by Pakistani ISI. It is a shame that we are allowing this 1971 defeated traitors to continue its subversive activities.

  • Selma
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 03:04 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    These violent criminal attacks should be condemned by all parties. Also it is high time for all student wings of political parties be banned as they are just tools of terror and these student bodies brings disrepute to most law abiding students.

  • Abol Fazal Syed Mahbub Baksh
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 03:10 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Activities of these anti-liberation forces of the evil should be sternly thwarted, and now.

  • Labu Khan
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 03:41 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    This time I agree with our great Finance Minister AMA Muhith who said the violence had proved intelligence failure. May be it was because Constable Delwar Hossain, a member of the unit that escorts the minister, was admitted to the hospital. He thought the militancy has been wiped out, but today's incident shows that he was wrong. How can he make such a statement when militants have been regularly protesting the anti war crimes trial. This once again proves that our great Finance Minister is not aware of what is going on in our country. Time for him to quit/retire!

  • fedup
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 03:45 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    The self-designed image of Islam is well demonstrated by the fundamentalist in Bangladesh. Be careful so that it does not give real birth to terrorists following the style seen in the neighbouring countries. The prime minister is too weak and failing to take concerted disciplinary and legal actions against these fundamentalists before they could force a state of emergency to help attain their objective of cancelling the trail of war criminals and set up a good pace for the Islamist parties to step into power through the backdoor. If they succeed, that would be the end of Bangladesh which won freedom through a bloody liberation war fought by the ordinary people. Give blessings {being fed up} to the appropriate leadership, dead or alive, to come so far to undo the freedom and secular democracy in Bangladesh.

  • Syed Karim
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 04:13 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    This is de facto war carried out by the Pakistani collaborators. One way out is to declare emergency for a short period, round up the Jamaat/Shibir thugs, and send them to Pakistan. Meanwhile, the government should ban both Jamaat-e-Islam and Islami Chhatra Shibir.

  • Iftekhar Hassan
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 04:40 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    I pray Bangladesh does not turn to a country like Pakistan at the end. This being said, we must also understand action of certain member of the ruling AL and their hate against religious base parties in Bangladesh. Present agnostic Home Minister is one of them. I don't like religious-base political parties. However, I am willing to tolerate their democratic right and express their rankling grievances. What the ruling party claim as Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir yesterday unleashed terror on police in the capital, is the same action, both AL and BNP is in record, when they were in opposition. Maybe, this is Bangladeshi political culture.

  • Kazi Salim
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 04:59 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    These notorious groups are active mainly to foil the verdicts against the War Criminals by the International War Crimes Tribunals. If they are found engaged on the roads in creating any kind of mayhem again, Shoot at Sight order should be issued to this notorious culprits. They can and will do any kind of extreme violence to achieve their goals and plan. Now it is the responsibility of the govt's agencies NSI; SB, DB, DGFI and other security agencies to unearth the sources of their finance, godfathers, next plan of action and other aspects of those diehard criminals. Govt should issue orders and instruction to the home owners of Dhaka and other major cities not to let any houses, accommodation or shelter to this anti social, anti state and anti Islamic groups. There should be a master plan to eradicate these venomous parasites from the independent and sovereign green land of Bangladesh. There should be a massive and robust public awareness program all over the country against these classified criminals, to keep the people alert and alarmed against any kind of possible violent activities. Radio TV, media should be more active in broadcasting against the criminal acts of the Razakars-Al-badars and the Pakistani Collaborators of 1971. The nation should be ready to give a befitting reply to any kind of anti social, anti state and ant people crimes, if committed on the streets by these thugs and their godfathers.

  • Asad Zaman
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 07:36 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    The Jamaat-Shibir’s terror is in fact an “awakening alarm” that has been ringing time to time for months; and it is ringing not only for the government but also for the nation’s civil society, pro-liberation forces and all other progressive or secular people. This intermittent terror alarm seems to be a kind of rehearsal or drill to test the strength of the nation’s police forces or law enforcers. It could mean that something bigger is underway. They have started not only wielding fire-arms but this time they have also used firearms against the police forces. Just 2-3 months ago, several other vicious attacks on the law enforcers took place in which the nation had witnessed Jamaat-Shibir’s terror culture of beating policeman by his own rifle, stabbing and attempting to gouge out a cop's eyes and to set him on fire. This terror culture is a grave threat against the nation; and no one should underestimate or neglect this vicious force. The government, members of civil society and all progressive people of the nation MUST NOT waste time to resist and stop this force of terror.

  • Mohib
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 07:52 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Police is responsible for this.

  • zerosopher
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 07:56 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Politics of persecution from government side and politics of vandalism from opposition side, both must end. For this training has to start from kindergarten level on civics. There has to be TV, newspaper ads on encouraging good behaviour by citizens.

  • Mohammad Nurul Hoque
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 07:57 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Now it is clear, the roll of Jammat in 1971! If they become the part of government in near future, Bangladesh will become hell.

  • Turja, Canada
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 08:38 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Be aware. This is prelude to turn the country a Taliban state. It will be easy it the country turn into chaos and Jamaat rules over.

  • Mahmudul Hassan
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 09:42 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    To protest against government Jamaat-e-Islami is doing the way the militant do in Pakistan. I am disappointed how the political parties destroying our country. General people are frightened and cannot protest against such attack. Govt and all political parties will be responsible for such situation.

  • Ahsan Kabir
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 09:53 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    The government should hold a plebiscite on if Jamaat-Shibir should be banned from politics in today's circumstances and come to a decision through passing bill in the parliament. The election commission has no right to ban a party from politics rather only parliament can do but the govt should respect people's opinion in this regard. I believe more than 80% people of the country will vote for banning the party involved in activities against humanity during our Liberation War.

  • Md Shahjahan
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 10:32 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    Basis on electronic and print media photos, arrest and punish that culprits who brought these mayhem.

  • Mijanur Rahman
    Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:08 PM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    It looks like the government is sitting like a lame duck awaiting its impending fall. If its machinery cannot protect the citizens and their interest from a peripheral force like the Jamaat, it is not that difficult to predict what might befall the country if any stronger elements with ulterior design try to destabilise the country and its interest. It is high time that the government should use its full force to contain these nefarious forces that are unleashing terror in the country with the overt intention to jeopardise the ongoing war-crime trials.





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