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Nine cases filed over arson attacks on buses in Dhaka

  • Published at 07:02 am November 13th, 2020
File photo of A bus has been set on fire in Gulistan on Thursday, November 12, 2020 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

So far, 20 people have been arrested in connection with the series arson attacks

At least nine cases have been filed accusing more than 400 people over the arson attacks on buses in Dhaka on Thursday.

In all of the cases filed by the police between Thursday night and Friday, leaders and activists of mostly BNP and its affiliated bodies have been made accused.

Two cases were filed each at Motijheel, Shahbagh, and Paltan police stations, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Deputy Commissioner Iftekharul Islam.

The rest three were filed at Bangshal, Bhatara, and Kalabagan police stations, he said, adding that more cases will be lodged.

Under the Special Powers Act, 1974, the cases were filed on charges of torching vehicles and subversive activities, and obstructing police from discharging duties, the DMP official added.

Meanwhile, police arrested 20 people so far in connection with the series arson attacks.

Of them, nine were picked up from Paltan, six from Shahbagh, two each from Bangshal and Kalabagan, and one from Motijheel area.

According to DMP sources, BNP leader Ishraque Hossain, who lost DSCC mayoral race in February, has been made accused in a case filed at Motijheel police station along with Motijheel unit BNP Convener Fazlul Haque and others.

BNP student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal's President Fazlur Rahman Khokon and General Secretary Iqbal Hossain Shyamol have been sued in the cases filed at Shahbagh police station.

Top brass of the student wing's Dhaka University unit have also been made accused in the cases.

As many as nine buses, including two vehicles used for carrying government staff, were set on fire at places in the capital between 12pm and 4:30pm on Thursday, according to the police and fire service.

Also Read - Arson attack on buses in Dhaka amid by-polls

The incidents took place at a time when the Dhaka 18 constituency went to the by-polls.

No casualties were reported, according to the Fire Service and Civil Defence.

DMP spokesperson Deputy Commissioner Walid Hossain then told this newspaper that the arsonists carried out the attacks posing as passengers.

"We have collected security camera footage from the scenes to identify the perpetrators," he added.

Series arson attacks

The first arson incident took place around 12:05pm at Naya Paltan. A government staff bus was torched on the north side of the BNP headquarters.

Around 1pm, a bus, used to carry the staff of state-owned Agrani Bank, was set on fire in front of Madhumita Cinema Hall at Motijheel, according to DMP sources.

Some 25 minutes later, arsonists set ablaze a bus of Victor Paribahan in front of Ramna Hotel at Bangabandhu Avenue in Gulistan.

Around 1:30pm, a bus operated by Dewan Paribahan was set ablaze at Shahbagh while a bus of Rajanigandha Paribahan was torched around 2:10pm at the north end of Bangladesh Secretariat.

Around 2:25pm, a Dishari Paribahan-operated bus was torched at Nayabazar in Bangshal.

Around 20 minutes later, arsonists attacked another bus in the Paltan area.

A double-decker bus, of state-owned BRTC, came under arson attack around 3pm in Motijheel while another bus of Victor Paribahan was torched around 4:30pm in Bhatara.

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