The law enforcers have submitted more than 650 charge sheets against over 15,000 leaders and activists of the 20-party alliance including BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia in connection with violence committed in the capital during their anti-government movement in 2013 and 2014.
The cases were filed for killing people by hurling petrol bombs and hand bombs, torching and vandalising vehicles, and attacking on law enforces and preventing them from discharging duties.
Among the BNP’s Standing Committee members and policymakers, acting secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has been made accused in most of the cases.
Officials of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police and the Detective Branch (DB) of police submitted the charge sheets with the Dhaka’s Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Court in the last two years.
According to police and court sources, of the 654 charge sheets, DMP Wari zone submitted 64 charge sheets, Uttara 25, Lalbagh 38, Tejgaon 96, Motijheel 134, Mirpur 162, Gulshan 43 and Ramna zone police pressed 92 charge sheets.
BNP leader Md Sanaullah Miah, also counsel of the BNP chief, claimed that all the cases were political motivated. “The government is doing this to foil the BNP’s anti-government movement.”
Public prosecutor Md Abdullah Abu of the Dhaka’s Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court refuted the allegation. The cases were filed against Khaleda on charges of killing innocent people in the name of movement, he said.
According to him, the investigators found their direct involvement with the incidents during investigation in the cases. He hoped that the trials would begin within a short time.
Jamaat-e-Islami, a key ally of the 20-party alliance, created anarchy across the country protesting the war crimes trial verdicts given against its leaders in early 2013. The demonstrations continued throughout the year while the alliance later called tougher movement to uproot the Awami League-led government.
A series of violent incidents took place before and after the 2014 general election, which the BNP-led alliance boycotted. At least 146 people, including 17 police personnel, were killed in the incidents. A total of 3,800 cases were filed in connection with the violence.
Meanwhile, in line with the directives made by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier this month, the law enforcement agencies are now working to press charges in the cases filed since January this year.
At least 102 people were killed since the non-stop blockade that began on January 6. Most victims did not have any political affiliation. A total of 1,717 cases were filed over the incidents across the country.
So far, detectives have pressed charges against a number of BNP leaders including three-time former premier Khaleda Zia in two cases filed over the arson attack on a bus in the capital’s Jatrabari on January 23.
In the cases, Khaleda and 37 other BNP leaders were made accused for instigating and executing the arson attack that left a person killed and 27 others injured. The charge sheets were submitted under the Special Powers Act, Penal Code and the Explosive Substances Act.
BNP leaders MK Anwar, Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, Amanullah Aman, Barkatullah Bulu, Habib-un-Nabi Khan Sohel, Mir Sarafat Ali Sapu, Azizul Bari Helal, Sultan Salauddin Tuku, former lawmaker Salauddin Ahmed, Khaleda’s advisers Khandker Mahbub Hossain and Shawkat Mahmud, her Special Assistant Shimul Biswas and Press Secretary Maruf Kamal Khan are named in the charge sheets.
At a meeting with Home Ministry officials on May 7, the prime minister also asked officials concerned to continue the joint force’s operation to resist “anti-people activities” with a view to keeping the law and order situation under control.
She also expressed resolve to execute the recommendations made by a judicial inquiry committee over the planned attacks perpetrated upon the Hindus and Awami League supporters just after the October 1, 2001 national polls.
Source: Dhaka Tribune