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Bhola clash: Launch, bus service resume after 10-hours

  • Published at 08:34 am October 25th, 2019
Police officials present the security detail put in Bhola town on Friday, October 25, 2019 Dhaka Tribune

The communication routes were suspended Friday morning

The district administration has restored the launch and bus services from Bhola to other parts of the country after a 10-hour suspension, imposed to avoid any untoward situation centering the proposed demonstration at Borhanuddin upazila.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) Mohammad Masud Alam Siddiqui withdrew the suspension on bus services at 5pm, and the launch services at 3pm, after imposing the halt earlier in the morning.

“From now on, bus and launch services are quite normal,” he said, confirming the update at 5:30pm yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Bhola Superintendent of Police (SP) Sarkar Mohammad Kaiser said they have heightened security in the district to avoid any untoward incident over the cancellation of the demonstration.

The development took place following the end of the 72-hour deadline by which protesters demanded the removal of the district police super, and the Borhanuddin police station officer-in-charge (OC).

Previously, the DC office banned the demonstration called by religious group “Shorbodolio Muslim Oikya Parishad” protesting hate comments on Facebook, that eventually led to a clash between police, and locals on October 20.

Local buses at a bus terminal in Bhola | UNBFour people died, and more than 200 others sustained injuries in the incident.

The demonstration was planned to take place on the playground of Bhola Government High School after the Jumma prayers. But the organisers postponed it after the authorities denied them permission.  

The group’s Joint Member Secretary Maulana Mizanur Rahman said: “Primarily, the authorities verbally gave us approval for holding the demonstration.

“However, when we demanded written approval, the DC restricted all sorts of demonstrations in Bhola instead.”

The written prohibition, signed by the DC on Thursday afternoon, stated that the ban was meant to maintain law and order situation in the area.

Meanwhile, police detained three people from Bhola town, hailing from the district’s Daulatkhan, Borhanuddin, and Manpura upazilas. The trio was taken into custody for interrogation. 

BGB officials in a patrol vehicle at the Bhola town on Friday, Ocotber 25, 2019 | Dhaka TribuneWhen asked about the overall situation in Bhola, Superintendent of Police (SP) Sarkar Mohammad Kaiser replied in the positive.

Additional forces from the police, alongside members of the Border Guard Bangladesh have been deployed. 

“The extra law enforcers will be on duty until 100% normalcy returns here,” he said. 

What happened in Bhola

On Sunday, casualties occurred in Borhanuddin upazila when police opened fire to disperse a mob demanding punishment for Biplob Chandra Shuvo, who they believed was responsible for spreading offensive messages against Islam on Facebook Messenger app.

The day before the clash, Biplob had gone to Borhanuddin police station to file a general diary saying his Facebook account had been hacked. 

Later, police found that hackers had sent messages from Biplob’s account to several people on his friends list, asking them to tell him to pay money if he wanted his account back.

Police and locals said messages containing derogatory remarks about Allah and Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were sent to several individuals on Facebook from Biplob’s account. 

On the evening of that day the clash occurred, Borhanuddin police station Sub-Inspector Delwar Hossain filed a case against Biplob, and seven to eight unnamed others under the Digital Security Act.

Police also filed a case against 5,000 unnamed people over the attack on police during the clash.

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