18 top opposition leaders booked for arson attack
December 26 2013 12:09 AM
BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir
BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir

A case has been filed against 18 top leaders of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami, including BNP acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, and 22 unidentified people in connection with Tuesday’s arson attack on a bus that left a police constable dead.

Nazrul Islam, a sub-inspector posted with Ramna police station, filed the case yesterday.

BNP standing committee members Mirza Abbas, Goyeshwar Chandra Roy, Amanullah Aman, Barkatullah Bulu, Abdus Salam, Salahuddin Ahmed, acting secretary general of central unit Jamaat-e-Islami Shafiqur Rahman and Shafiqul Islam Masud were among the accused.

The case was filed a day after BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia announced the plan to hold a ‘march for democracy’ rally in Dhaka on December 29.

Masudur Rahman, deputy commissioner at the Media Centre of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said the case was filed with the capital’s Ramna police station.

A traffic constable, Ferdous Khalil, 42, was burnt alive and two other constables – Faizur Rahman and Bayezed Ahmed – sustained injuries when the protesters hurled a petrol bomb at the bus at 11:15pm.

The victims were trapped inside the bus as the fire engulfed it.

The protesters also set off 10 to 12 crude bombs before fleeing the scene. Witnesses said a group of people, two of them riding a motorcycle, hurled petrol bombs while the vehicle was on its way to Rajarbagh carrying the policemen at the end of their duties for the day.

The injured constables have been admitted at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Meanwhile, as per a directive of the government, owners of licensed firearms in Bangladesh have started surrendering their weapons and ammunition ahead of January 5 parliamentary elections.

Police stations and dealers yesterday said they have started receiving firearms although they were yet to receive any written instruction from the home ministry, which on Monday asked the licensed holders to surrender their arms by

Many dealers asked their clients to keep firearms in their possession as they (dealers) were confused about the
government decision.

The arms users said the government during the past parliamentary election held in 2008, had asked to surrender only the revolvers and pistols while it asked for keeping the shotguns or rifles in the possession of the users.

“As we have not received any instruction from the home ministry, we have not received any arms from my clients,” said Khalilullah Zabi, a dealer in Purana Paltan.

Another arms dealer, Tanveer Hossain in Baitul Mukarram, said they were confused over the news on surrendering the firearms.

After surrendering arms, many licence holders, expressed their concern over deteriorating law and order situation, and requested the government
immediately to step up security.

Asked about the concern over his private security after surrendering his revolver and shotgun, M S Alam, the managing director of Orient Trading and Builders in Niketon, said: “I have obeyed the instruction of the government. Now the government would have to ensure my security.”

While surrendering firearms, another businessman in Lalbagh area seeking anonymity said: “We are concerned about our security but surrendered arms to avoid police

Many users were delaying the surrender as they assumed that the government might extend the deadline.

The government on Monday also announced that the arms and ammunitions will remain in the custody of the police stations or the dealers until January 15
as per The Arms Act 1878.

The government has imposed a ban on carrying legal firearms from December 27 to January 15 for holding the January 5 parliamentary polls, the announcement read.





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