Arson in buses: CCTV footage contradicts police version

A bus set on fire near the National Press Club, Dhaka on 12 November 2020
A bus set on fire near the National Press Club, Dhaka on 12 November 2020Collected

CCTV footage shows that BNP leader Hazrat Ali was at his grocery shop in Shegunbagicha at 1:37pm on Thursday when a Dewan Paribahan bus was set afire in front of Aziz Super Market in Shahbagh.

Yet, BNP president of ward no. 20 Hazrat was made the prime accused in a case filed by Shahbagh police over the arson attack.

He is now on remand over the case.

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A bus set on fire near the National Press Club, Dhaka on 12 November 2020

His son Al Amin told Prothom Alo that Hazrat Ali was picked up by some plainclothesmen who identified themselves as police at his shop at around 8:30pm on Thursday.

Al Amin said his father was falsely implicated by the police and he was not present during the arson.

Amin said his father has been suffering from heart disease and multiple old age complications.

When asked about the matter, the plaintiff of the case Shahbagh police station’s sub inspector Kazi Jahangir Alam only replied “I’m very busy right now. I can’t talk.”

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Plaintiff himself unware of case filed

According to the police some 11 buses were torched in different parts of Dhaka city from afternoon to 8:30pm on Thursday.

BNP leaders and activists were implicated in 11 cases filed over the arson. Police filed 10 of the cases except one case filed with Khilket police station. Besides, two more cases were filed in two police stations.

A total of 647 people were accused in these 13 cases.

According to deputy commissioner (public relations and media) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Walid Hossain, a total of 47 people were arrested in the cases as of Monday evening.

Accused in 11 cases for torching buses includes BNP standing committee member Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, the party’s Dhaka south city corporation mayoral candidate Ishraq Hossain, Juba Dal general secretary Sultan Salahuddin Tuku, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal president Fazlur Rahman Khokon, general secretary Iqbal Hosen Shyamol, Dhaka University unit’s convenor Rakibul Islam and member secretary Amanullah.

Jubo Dal central committee vice president Zakir Hossain Siddique has been made one of the prime accused in a case filed with Paltan police station. Zakir was admitted at a private hospital in the city during the incident. He was discharged from the hospital on Sunday after taking treatment.

Zakir told Prothom Alo that he was severely injured by police beating at a programme in Brahmanbaria on 23 October. His four fingers were broken at the attack.

Zakir was admitted into the hospital on 10 November, two days before the incident, and received treatment for five days.

This reporter contacted the plaintiff of the case sub inspector of police Shahin Mia. After hearing the details, Shahin said he will look into the matter.


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