Unidentified gun-wielding miscreants on motorcycles hurled crude bombs at the residences of at least six BNP leaders in Jessore town in the wee hours of yesterday.
More than 30 crude bombs were set off in a series of drive-by attacks, but none were reportedly hurt.
Although the police initially claimed that the explosions were firecrackers being set off to celebrate the Holi festival of the Hindu community, they later admitted that the blasts were caused by crude bombs.
The houses that were attacked belonged to BNP Standing Committee member Tariqul Islam, district BNP Secretary Syed Saberul Haque Sabu, district unit Vice-President Golam Reza Dulu, Organising Secretary Delwar Hossain Khokon, town unit Secretary Munir Ahmed Siddiqui Bachchu, and the house of late BNP leader Shahidul Islam Nayan’s elder son Rafiqul Islam Chowdury Biplob.
Security guard Zulqad Hossain, who was on-duty near Biplob’s house, told the Dhaka Tribune that he heard around ten explosions soon after nine motorcycles – each carrying three people with firearms – drove towards Biplob’s house.
Security guards near the town’s Ghop Central Road area also claimed of seeing over ten motorcycles taking position in the area, before several bike riders took off on foot and hurled crude bombs at Tariqul Islam’s house.
Nargis Begum, wife of former minister Tariqul, said five masked young men – all carrying weapons on their shoulder – came and hurled crude bombs at the house.
Shikdar Akkas Ali, officer-in-charge of Jessore Kotwali police station, said he had been notified about firecrackers being set off for Holi celebrations, adding that law enforcers have been sent to the spots to investigate.
Sub-Inspector Mintu Miah collected evidence of the explosions from Tariqul’s house, but refused to comment on the issue.
Earlier on the night of January 29, the residences of four local BNP leader including the house of Tariqul were also attacked in a similar manner.