Victims of two murders in a span of few hours in two different parts of the country belonged to Jubo League, the youth league of ruling Awami League. With the return of political violence in the streets with the Bangladesh Nationalist Party’s Road march after years, the nature of the graphic murders is begging a lot of questions to be answered.
Victim 1: Oiliullah Rubel (Shahjahanpur, Dhaka)
In the early hours of Thursday, a horrifying incident unfolded in Dhaka’s Shahjahanpur Gulbagh area, as miscreants mercilessly hacked a young man named Oliullah Rubel (36) to death. Oliullah, a businessman, and aspiring Jubo League leader had been a prominent candidate for the position of General Secretary in Ward No. 12 of Dhaka Metropolitan South. The police are actively investigating the motive and culprits behind this heinous act around 1:15 a.m.
Oliullah’s sister-in-law, Mamun Ahmed, revealed that he was returning home from his business dealings when he was attacked near his residence in Shahjahanpur’s Gulbagh. Despite receiving immediate medical attention, Oliullah succumbed to the multiple injuries inflicted by sharp weapons, leaving his family and the community devastated.
Victim 2: Azad Sheikh (Kalia, Narail)
Moving to Khulna division, a separate tragedy unfolded in Narail’s Kalia upazila later that same evening. Azad Sheikh (30), an activist of Bangladesh Awami Jubo League, was stabbed to death by miscreants. Azad was an active member of the Perulia union Jubo League and the elder brother of the union Jubo League President, Sazzat Sheikh.
The incident occurred after leaders and activists participated in a Jubo League rally, ‘Tarunner Joyjatra Samabesh,’ under the guidance of Kobirul Hoque Mukti, a lawmaker from Narail-1 constituency. While returning home, Azad and another activist named Jony Sardar faced an armed attack by a group of miscreants, resulting in Azad’s tragic demise. Jony sustained minor injuries during the assault.
Authorities are now working diligently to identify the motive behind Azad’s murder and apprehend the culprits responsible for this senseless act of violence.
The untimely deaths of these two Jubo League leaders have sent shockwaves through the nation. Lawmakers, party leaders, and activists have expressed their grief and demanded swift justice for the victims. The communities in Dhaka and Khulna mourn the loss of promising leaders, leaving many to question the safety and security of political activists in the country.
Violence in Bangladesh’s Politics
Bangladesh’s political landscape is marred by intense contention and a deep-seated culture of intolerance, antagonism, revenge, and arrogance. While differences in opinion are common in democratic societies, Bangladesh has seen these disagreements escalate into extreme forms of violence, leading to loss of life, injuries, and extensive property damage.
The prevalence of dynastic politics and a lack of democratic practices within political parties have only exacerbated the confrontational nature of politics in the country, creating a vicious cycle of undemocratic practices reinforcing political violence.
The roots of political violence in the Indian sub-continent can be traced back to the British colonial era, with East Bengal’s transformation into East Pakistan and subsequently into Bangladesh marked by violent struggles. Regrettably, political violence has become a means for some to amass capital and power, further perpetuating the cycle of unrest and turmoil in the nation.
Tragic killings and violence have regrettably become a disturbingly prevalent aspect of Bangladeshi politics. Supporters of different political parties, and even factions within the same party, frequently clash among themselves and with law enforcement during rallies and demonstrations. Adding to the turmoil, opposition parties’ resort to armed violence and intimidation tactics to disrupt their rivals’ gatherings, rallies, and even enforce general strikes.
The most devastating blow to Bangladesh’s political history was the assassination of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The sinister objective behind this heinous act was to divert the Bengali nation from the cherished ideals and dreams of Bangabandhu. Despite these efforts, the assault on his legacy and principles continues to persist, leaving a profound impact on the nation.
Will foreign missions raise condemnation?
As the agitation led by the BNP-JI-led 20-party alliance persists, a wave of despair engulfs the ordinary citizens. The senseless violence witnessed a few years ago has resurfaced, leaving the nation in a state of turmoil.
Public transport is being ruthlessly targeted with petrol bombs, and acts of sabotage against the railway system have caused dangerous derailments. The goal appears to be instilling fear, paralyzing daily life, and bringing everything to a standstill.
It is noteworthy that, the UN and Embassies of different countries in Bangladesh have raised concerns to the government regarding allegations of human rights violations against the opposition political parties. But so far, international agencies and organizations have failed to condemn these violent incidents of murder. The unilateral or biased condemnation might incite further violence as one group might see it as sign of international support.
It is imperative for all shades of political leadership to contemplate the risks they are imposing on the entire nation. The failure of democracy only strengthens the hands of extremists advocating for a totalitarian state. At this critical juncture, political instability coupled with violence poses a grave threat to our national security. The nation yearns for freedom from this cycle of apathy and violence, hoping for a path toward stability and prosperity.