Once again, BNP has engaged in a ruthless political strategy by igniting buses in various regions of Dhaka and Chattogram. The persistent occurrence of bus arson is undeniably indicative of BNP’s widespread intimidation akin to violations of human rights. This recurring pattern raises significant concerns regarding potential threats to both human rights and safety.
The frequency of BNP’s arson rampage is on rise day by day, it is disconcerting to report that four buses were deliberately set ablaze in distinct areas of Dhaka, including Khilgaon, Mohammadpur, and Gulistan, as well as in Chattogram. These regrettable incidents transpired on Tuesday (December 19) during the nationwide dawn-to-dusk hartal orchestrated by BNP and Jamaat.
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Regrettably, arson incidents have become a frequent phenomenon during BNP-orchestrated hartals. Following the tragic arson of the Mohanganj Express, several additional incidents unfolded throughout the country, further emphasizing the urgency of addressing this alarming trend.
A group of arsonists set fire to a “Malancha Paribahan” bus in front of Gulistan’s GPO (General Post Office).
Two firefighting units went to the spot to douse the fire promptly after receiving information around 1pm, said Lima Khanom, control room officer of the Bangladesh Fire Service and Civil Defence.
Later the flame was doused around 1:16 am. No casualties were reported from the incident, yet it resulted in damages estimated at Tk3 lakh.
Around 7 am, a bus belonging to Rob Rob Paribahan was set ablaze near Meradia Bazar in Khilgaon, as reported by Moshiur Rahman, the officer-in-charge (OC) of Rampura Police Station.
Rahman stated that two youths riding a motorcycle set fire to the bus before quickly fleeing the scene. Upon receiving the information, fire service personnel promptly arrived and extinguished the fire. Fortunately, there were no reported injuries in this incident.
Miscreants set fire to a passenger bus of transport number 13 in Mohammadpur of the capital.
This incident happened around 8 am. Mohammadpur Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mahfuz Bhuiyan confirmed the matter.
He mentioned that a bus marked as transport number 13, departing from Azimpur, was intentionally set on fire. The incident occurred as the bus was in motion upon reaching Shankar.
Regarding casualties, the OC confirmed there were none resulting from the fire.
Eventually, residents intervened and brought the fire under control near Al Manar Hospital in Mohammadpur.
Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar Highway, Chattogram
In Chattogram, a bus was burned in Chandanaish upazila on Dhaka-Cox’s Bazar highway on early Tuesday.
Fire service sources reported that unidentified troublemakers set fire to a parked passenger minibus in Chandnaish Fakirhat area.
SM Obaidul Islam, officer-in-charge of Chandnaish Police Station, confirmed the matter.
Both police and fire service personnel hurried to the scene and successfully brought the fire under control.
Luckily, no casualties were reported yet in these series of attacks.
Just an hour before the hartal, four people, including a child, were killed as arsonists set fire to the Dhaka-bound Mohanganj Express train in the capital’s Tejgaon Railway station area.
Events of Train Sabotage
The lingering impact of the Gazipur incident was overshadowed by the disruptive tactics employed by the BNP, casting a shadow over public life. With dwindling public support for their cause, they resorted to darker strategies that resulted in harm and tragically claimed lives.
On November 16, the Panchagarh Express, a commuter train stationed at Gharinda railway station in Tangail, was targeted in an arson attack. The destructive fire engulfed three of its compartments.
Similarly, on November 19, around 1:15 am, two compartments of the Jamuna Express train at Jamalpur’s Sarishabari railway station were engulfed in flames. This marked the second occurrence of a train being set ablaze during the BNP’s blockade and hartal program.
On November 23, unidentified individuals ignited a fire aboard the Upaban Express, an intercity train at Sylhet Railway Station. The blaze started in the AC chair compartment around 9:30 pm, as confirmed by Sylhet railway station manager, Md Nurul Islam.
Another distressing event occurred on November 27 at Ishwardi Junction in Pabna, where an unidentified group set a train on fire while it was stationed at Ishwardi Railway Junction around 8:30 pm. Thankfully, there were no reported injuries, and two fire service units managed to extinguish the flames within half an hour.
The lead-up to the elections has witnessed a significant escalation in their intense campaign efforts. Starting from October 29, reports have surfaced indicating 12 fatalities and the burning of at least 580 vehicles amid the hartal-blockade movement. A particularly alarming incident occurred on December 6 when no less than 11 vehicles were set on fire in coordinated arson attacks across the nation.