Arson Vandalism Killing and Derailing Economy: New Template of BNP Jamaat's so called Movement for Democracy


Published on December 9, 2023
  • Details Image

A total of 267 arson attacks, over 15 incidents of attack on trains, let alone over 220 incidents of vandalism of buses trucks and other vehicles, have been recorded till 6 am on Friday during the blockades and hartals called by BNP, Jamaat, and like-minded opposition parties since the end of October.

This spate of blockade resulted in the loss of lives including two truck helpers burnt to death, alongside an alarming number of people, who sustained burn injuries, undergoing treatment in different hospitals.

In addition to the blockade, targeted attacks on Awami League activists and leaders, alongside AL offices were also reported. Moreover, survivors who earlier fell prey to a similar spate of arson attacks, reportedly orchestrated by BNP Jamaat combine between 2013 and 2015, recently demanded exemplary punishment for the arson attackers, holding BNP Jamaat responsible, drawing the attention of the world. While BNP central leaders kept denying the involvement of their cadres behind the ongoing spell of street terror in the observance of the ongoing blockade, a litany of media reports emerged exposing the identities of the attackers.

From offering party ranks to rewarding arsonists with cash to hiring poor people to carry out arson attacks central leaders-led picketers have laid bare these visuals.

Let's shed light on the media reports based on CCTV footage revealing the involvement of party men in arson attacks and the economic cost of blockade:

Picketers from BNP leader Rizvi’s rally against polls schedule throw brick chips at vehicles

Just a day after BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, publicly pressed charges on Awami League for the arson attacks, on December 7, the second day of the 10th round of blockade, picketers from a sudden rally led by him in Dhaka were seen throwing brick chips at buses and other vehicles on the street. According to video reports, around 30 picketers led by Rizvi can be seen marching on the street. As people and vehicles kept defying the rally, the protesters were seen throwing brick chips leaving vehicles. CCTV footage shows the involvement of BNP men in exploding crude bombs and torching buses in 21 places including the election office

On November 30, the last day for submission of nomination papers for the 12th parliamentary election, a gang of four, belonging to BNP’s different fronts, targeted the office of the Dhaka deputy commissioner and returning officer in an attempt to disrupt the election process and stir panic through exploding crude bombs. According to CCTV footage, Ashiqur Rahman Panna, former Swechchha Sebak Dal joint convener, had thrown a crude bomb at the deputy commissioner’s office from the roof of the National Board of Revenue building on its eastern side. Using CCTV footage and other technology, police also found evidence of Panna and his accomplice Shafiqul’s involvement in nine incidents of sabotage. At more than 20 locations in the Ramna and Motijheel area following the BNP rally on Oct 28, this group was found reportedly involved, according to CCTV visuals.

BNP leaders from different associate bodies involved in arson attacks

According to CCTV footage, on November 3, after dusk fell, led by three members of BNP’s student front JCD’s Khulshi unit, the group members torched several buses and vandalized bus counters. These local activists were promised with influential party in BNP’s student front upon successful arson attack. “Burn bus and we will reward you with vice president rank in Khulshi Thana unit” how the member secretary of the same unit motivated the lower tire activists, according to media reports. This spell of attack left the bus driver injured. Later based on CCTV footage, three of the attackers were arrested who later revealed the plot of arson attacks was devised to stop vehicles from plying on roads, driven by the desire to make the blockade a success.

At around 8: 30 pm, another group of two with one Jasim from BNP’s volunteer front unit, torched a city corporation-owned truck in the port city, according to media reports. Following his arrest, Jasim revealed senior leaders of the local unit pledged to him with hopes of elevation in party rank.

Targeted attacks on Awami League offices

Cocktails were reportedly hurled in front of the Awami League party office in Chapainawabganj, a northwestern district. On November 4, two cocktails were reportedly exploded in front of the office. Another attack was reported targeting the election office of an Awami League-nominated aspirant. This series of calculated and unprovoked attacks on AL leaders and activists stood as a glaring testament to BNP Jamaat’s nefarious plot to foil the upcoming election.

BNP’s student front at the forefront in attack on police and firebombing vehicles

According to media reports, several leaders and activists from BNP’s student front were found involved in a spree of arson attacks across the country, while several others were caught red-handed with petrol bombs. Video footage also revealed cadres of the student front were involved in the gruesome killing of a police constable. Media reports reveal that the attackers were involved in arson attacks.

The economic cost of the blockade

According to business leaders and economists, the country’s economy suffered over $12 billion due to the ongoing spell of blockade enforced by BNP Jamaat since October 31, another marker that shows BNP Jamaat combine did not consider the welfare of the country and its people while the enforcement of blockade or strike runs contrary to any democratic movement. A similar spell of blockade, by the same combine, between 2013 and 2015, inflicted unprecedented economic loss.