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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
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Shibir strikes terror in city

Beats up cops brutally, tries to slit Jubo League leader's throat, attacks law minister's escort car, smashes vehicles

Jamaat and Shibir men attack a policeman at Sonargaon intersection in the capital yesterday afternoon during their rampage in the area. Inset, the policeman who was riding the motorbike is seen bleeding from the head while the bike is burning in the background. Photo: STAR

It was a planned attack by the Jamaat-Shibir men. Or so it seemed. They snatched the rifle from a policeman and beat him with its butt, injured over a dozen other law enforcers, attempted to hack a Jubo League leader and attacked law minister's private secretary's car -- all on the capital's main thoroughfares yesterday afternoon.

But that is not all. The Islamist party men torched police motorbikes, vandalised three news vans and dozens of public and private vehicles and beat up the common people indiscriminately.

These were only a few snap shots of the guerilla-style attack from a procession of the Islami Chhatra Shibir, a pro-Jamaat-e-Islami student wing, at Farmgate and Karwan Bazar.

It was not the first time that the Jamaat-Shibir men went on the rampage and wounded police personnel. They have done so almost every day since November 5 in Dhaka and elsewhere in the country.

On November 4, the Jamaat announced a nine-day agitation programme beginning from November 5 to press home its demand for the immediate release of the party's top leaders, including those facing war crimes trial. Till Monday, more than 200 policemen, at least 300 people and three journalists were injured during clashes between the police and Jamaat-Shibir men across the country.

They ended their protest programme yesterday through a targeted attack on the law enforcers in an unprecedented manner, leaving about 20 policemen injured in Dhaka, Khulna and Cox's Bazar.

Noticeably, the police role during these attacks throughout the week seemed very unusual. They either tried to escape those attacks or were just silent observers, witnesses said.

Only a few policemen went on a counter attack, mainly in self-defence, they added.

Never in the past had police played such a passive role during a political violence.

THE RAMPAGE

It was about 4:15pm. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on both sides of Farmgate-Karwan Bazar road in a heavy traffic. All of a sudden, around 50 Shibir men started vandalising vehicles -- BRTC double-deckers, private cars, motorbikes, human haulers.

They also vandalised three news vans of ATN News and set fire to two police motorbikes at Karwan Bazar, police said.

The Jamaat-Shibir men indiscriminately beat up pedestrians, injuring at least 30 people, including 15 policemen, witnesses said, adding that at least 30 vehicles were damaged by the attackers.

Traders on both sides of the road shut their shops fearing vandalism, with people running for their lives.

As one group continued the rampage in Karwan Bazar, another group coming out of a lane opposite The Daily Star building, was trying to hack Lokman Hossain, general secretary of ward-26 Jubo League. When about 20 policemen went to Lokman's rescue, the Jamaat-Shibir men swooped on them, snatching a rifle from one of them and beating him up with it, police said.

Traffic sergeant Abdul Aziz and sub-inspectors Abdur Razzak, Md Helal, Shahidul Islam Shahid and Md Shaheen are among those injured. They were taking treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital and Rajarbagh Police Lines Hospital.

Lokman was admitted to a private hospital at Farmgate.

Police arrested more than 25 Shibir men for vandalism and attacking the law enforcers in the capital and 87 others in Khulna, Joypurhat, Bagerhat, Chapainawabganj and Cox's Bazar.

At Farmgate, an angry mob beat up two Shibir men -- Borhan Uddin and Ismail Hossain.

Around 4:30pm, the Shibir men attacked the police escort of the law minister at Karwan Bazar, injuring three policemen. One of them was badly hit and was taken to a hospital, Mahbub Shafique, son of the law minister, told The Daily Star.

Mahbub said he was in the car of Akshir M Chowdhury, assistant personal secretary to the minister. The Jamaat-Shibir men attacked and damaged his car, but the minister escaped unhurt.

Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said the Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked his police escort in efforts to foil the trial of crimes against humanity. He vowed the trial would go on.

Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandakar said, "I think they [Jamaat-Shibir] have a gang of thugs for carrying out such activities and we will not spare them. They are committing criminal offences and we are taking action against them in this connection."

Contacted, Nazrul Islam Mollah, deputy commissioner of Detective Branch (north) of police, said the Jamaat-Shibir men were attacking policemen in a pre-planned way to create panic among the law enforcers.

"They are doing so to disturb law and order as part of their design to delay the ongoing trial of crimes against humanity," he said.

Law enforcers and Jubo League sources said they had information the Jamaat-Shibir would bring out a procession from Farmgate in the afternoon. Alert, police and Jubo League men were present in Farmgate area.

As police stopped a group of bikers taking them for Shibir supporters, hundreds of Shibir workers from adjacent lanes, footpaths, and foot overbridges took to the streets and went on the rampage, police said.

Jubo League activist Arif said the Shibir men beat up his party colleagues. They also tried to hack Lokman but could not do so as they were chased by the Jubo League activists.

"We were six in the team, standing under the overbridge. Suddenly, some youths hurled brickbats at us from a procession," said a policeman.

“We took shelter in a roadside shop. But constable Helal could not enter the shop. The Shibir men beat him first, snatched his rifle and hit him with the rifle,” he added, preferring not to be named.

“They attacked me and knocked me down before I could realise anything. They also tried to snatch my pistol but I managed to save it," said Sub-inspector Abdur Razzak, who fired two shots at the attackers.

Meanwhile, Khulna City Jamaat yesterday called a dawn-to-dusk hartal for today protesting the Sunday's arrest of Golam Parwar, former lawmaker and Jamaat assistant secretary general, in connection with violence and attacks on police.

Earlier on the day, the Jamaat-Shibir men clashed with police on Shamsur Rahman road in the city. Four people, including two policemen, were injured in the incident. Police detained three Shibir activists from the spot.

The clash ensued when police intercepted a procession brought out by Jamaat-Shibir men around 1:00pm in protest of Parwar's arrest, police and witnesses said.

In Cox's Bazar, Shibir men launched attacks on police when law enforcers intercepted their procession around 3:00pm yesterday, reports our district correspondent.

Two policemen were injured in the attack. Law enforcers arrested four Shibir men in this connection.

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They are ready to give a last bite. We must be cautious about them. The unfinished works of 1971 must be finished this time.

: Naharin

So the country is hapless to take stern action against these Pakistani agents whose leaders committed heinous and barbaric crimes against humanity. People should then take revenge to stop the anti-state hooliganism. Dr Iftikhar-ul-Awwal this is not the Awami League but the anti-liberation force is active again and Bangalees should rise this time with arms to stop them forever.

: naabaj

Comments

  • neutral
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 01:45 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    Are they close to their victory line? Please do not forget that they are a recognised political party according to the notification of the election commission. All these episodes just indicate that they are after a 'big' coalition for victory. These episodes are enough to justify the cancellation of PM's visit to attend G-8 Summit in Pakistan; nothing to do with Pakistan or its people, it is more a question of internal security and national security as well where the PM is supposed to keep full and regular watch staying in the capital as long as necessary and take cool headed decision to stop fanaticism from being further escalated.

  • hussain islam
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 01:54 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    Jamaat-Shibir is a party led by murderers and killers as proved by their role in 1971. The Awami League is another failed party that has got bloated with corruption and thinks by holding a small war crimes trial 35 years too bloody late they can take the nations attention off the rest of their misdeeds.

  • Rosak
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 02:48 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    What Shibir men have done is a malpractice but they had no other ways left to save them from the atrocity of Awami League. The ruling party does not respect the rule of law. They want to remain power at any cost.

  • Dr. Khalequz Zaman
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 03:03 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    I personally condemn violence of any form. After taking power, Awami League, opposition parties have fallen into extraordinary pressure. The present government has become extremely over reactive to the opposition parties activities. At any circumstance they did not allow anti-government, democratic protests called by oppositions. During the last few years, many demonstrations of these parties have been vandalised by brutal attacks by the police, Rab and by the hooligans from the AL student's wing. The present government has been doing horrible things in the recent years. In conclusion, I can say that Bangladeshi should wake up now.

  • barkat
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 03:07 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    AL government must understand the fact that for every action there will be equal and opposite reaction. Beside that it should also be cleared that these Jamaat-Shibir are sons of this nation. In a free democracy, opposition should be allowed to have its role freely without any force. The Jamaat-shibbir man is as much Bangladeshi as any of AL or Jubo League. Just because, they have region-based agenda that does not make them anti-Bangladesh. In a real democracy, all parties should have the right to exist. And please stop the rhetoric of war crime. Let there be free and fair trial for war criminals. But if the trial is biased and politically motivated than in future there will be more tribunal for the trial of those who will commit crime against humanity now.

  • arshad
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 03:13 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    Very good job. Awami league and Jamaat are same kind of parties.

  • niloufar sarker
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 04:27 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    How can Jamaat-Shibir who are anti-liberation have any right to demonstrate demanding release of war criminals. What's next demonstrate against our liberty and reunite with Pakistan. Some of your readers are asking us not to bring up war crimes. They think it is against the misrule of this government, I ask them to read DS in detail and they will know why Jamaat-Shibir is demonstrating. I also question the police role like your reporter. Stronger response from the law enforcers is expected.

  • Kazi Salim
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 05:18 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    The govt should deploy the elite SWAT forces to confront these notorious jamt-Shibir cadres in the city. There are strong police and Rab in our country, how do these thugs and anti state/anti social elements became so active to create and destabilise the government. We should not forget that days are being counted to deliver the verdicts of the War Crimes Tribunal, and the Pakistani Razakars- Jamaat-Sibir thugs and killers are becoming active showing their skills of vandalism. This is the high time for the govt to control their free style action on the police and general people with utmost sever action. At any cost the verdict should be delivered by the International Criminal Tribunals, as the countrymen are waiting for this historic moment with high expectation of getting justice against the killers and thugs of 1971 genocide. Our countrymen should remain alert and alarmed upon the movements, activities of the anti liberation forces and cooperate with the govt agencies.

  • matiur rahman
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 05:31 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    The way ICT proceed its trial proceeding I lost my trust on judges. If you take away peoples democratic right, right of procession, meeting, voice than the result will be like these.

  • One Eyed Bull
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 05:57 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Either we have forgotten what happened in 1971 or were really sympathetic for the collaborators; otherwise how some one could thinks reasonable what Shibir is doing? As we are getting close towards few verdicts at the War Crimes Tribunal no doubt Jamaat-Shibir would try to give its last bite. It is the testing time to show how dearly you feel for the martyrs of our great Liberation War. Lets not divide but unite because this is the last chance we can have to set the soul of the martyrs free , they can rest peacefully knowing we cared!

  • saif ali khan
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:06 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    The police is helpless ... Jamaat is in full force ... the fleeing sergeant with his motorbike is the example of the bravery and power of the Bangladesh Police.

  • Muradul Islam
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:26 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Why govt. is silent for the Shibir? Do we need to think that our administration is weaker than Jamaat-Shibir terror?

  • Firko
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 07:30 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Islami Chatra Shibir, which was collaborator of Pakistan in 1971, had and has records of cutting hands and throats of the people who opposed their ideology. It is too late, but still not beyond the control. Now, the job should be done by the progressive parties which are now in government. Please ban the Islamic parties in Bangladesh before it goes beyond the control like Taliban in Pakistan. We are more than 80% Muslims in Bangladesh and Islamic parties are creating divisions within our same Muslim community. We do not need any certificate of heaven or hell from any Islamic party.

  • Tareen Hossain
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 08:12 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Looks like law and order situation has improved dramatically after MK Alamgir took over home minister. It is quite obvious that AL wants to take a hard line against opposition. But the home minister's activities are inflecting more damage to AL than the opposition in terms of public opinion.

  • Afsana
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:16 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Those who tried to support Shibir's activities are basically supporters of war criminals. There is no reason to back them in the name of practising their democratic rights. Stop such comments and do not instigate them to be more violent. You will not be saved either. Look at Pakistan and other failed states. Do you want it here as well? The main opposition is playing dubious role and media is mysteriously silent. Media is more vocal against govt. than Jamaat's violence.

  • Shekhar Dev, Chittagong
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 10:57 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    What are our forces doing? Why our various branches of police have not knew about free-planned attack? The trial of war crimes should be finished early. Jamaat-Shibir should be dominated properly by government. They are trying to foil the trial and aim to make restless situation in politics.

  • Asad Zaman
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 11:41 AM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    It is hard to believe that such extraordinary violent/terror acts --- ranging from torching vehicles and damaging public properties to beating policeman by his own rifle, stabbing and attempting to gouge out a cop's eyes and to set him on fire (at Joypurhat) were the acts of only Jamaat-Shibir men. It is important for the government and the journalist community to find out whether there were other groups involved in such planned operations. It is possible that Jamaat-Shibir are testing the power of the government forces.

  • shamim
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:09 PM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Either you ban a political party or let them practice their democratic rights. It is not question of Jamaat, BNP or AL- it is the basic right of any citizen to protest and to do demonstration. None can protest and there is no freedom of speech. If any party go against BD, the people will resist. AL did not only fight for democracy - it is the majority of the common people who fought in 1971 for democracy and most of them were not AL members.

  • SADEQUL ISLAM
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 01:04 PM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    That is very bad for democracy.

  • Kamal
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 02:03 PM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    Such acts are totally unacceptable it simply shows the weakness of our police dept. questions are they well trained? Seems like they lack of basic tactical training physically Shibir guys are stronger then our police force.

  • Talat Islam
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 02:54 PM GMT+06:00 (93 weeks ago)

    It seems Jamaat is desperate. Something must be giving the sign of great danger. Did not get the chance to fight them in 1971.

  • Dr. Iftikhar-ul-Awwal
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:53 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    I am not sure whether Jamaat-Shibir is creating terror in the capital and elsewhere for stopping war crimes trial or not. But I am sure that the undemocratic fashion in which AL-led regime steps forward to stop all anti government agitations, and the wholesale arrests and barricades that that set up around opposition party offices, prove beyond doubt that this government hardly believe in democratic culture and practices. The inflexible and dogmatic nature of the government has also closed all avenues of dialogue with the opposition, especially in the matter relating to issues of the next general elections. The government has meanwhile lost its representative character, and is ruling the country with the assistance of law enforcers and party cadres. The political unrest may eventually take a grave turn if sanity do not return with those in authority.

  • Mujib Khan
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:58 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    Either ban Jamaat and Shibir or let them exercise their constitutional rights. The Awami League government can not suppress their rights if they are not banned. The government cannot have it both ways. When the Jammat-Shibir people are cornered, they will fight back.

  • T. Mannan, Ishwardi
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:42 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    I think that Shibir has done a good job because this government has clamped down brutally anytime they brought out any processions, etc. What gave the police the right to crack down on peaceful processions of Jamaat/Shibir previously? Isn't it their democratic right to bring out processions? why the harassment of Shibir?

    Now it is the police's turn to face the same medicine which they had meted out to the Shibir supporters. Good show, Shibir! I think they should show this bravery and beat up the police in the same way the police beat them up before.

  • Shatyabadi
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:45 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    Do not bring in the war crimes every time. This is the obvious result of the misrule of this government.

  • Nasir Tarafder
    Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:46 AM GMT+06:00 (94 weeks ago)

    We condemn violence of any form. However, the AL and its front/ assiciate organizations, such as Jubo, Chatra and Shechasebok leagues have been terorising, intimidating, killing, abducting and murdering the opposition, especially Jamat and Shibir for the last 4 years and more. Now they become impatient and trying to hit back. In fact their backs have touched the wall already and trying to stand by turn. In closing, the ruling party`s atrocities and brutal activities has surpassed everything. Now it is high time for all opposition political parties to be united to give a befitting response to AL atrocities and beyond.


 

 


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