Dismissing the allegation of mass killing and concealing bodies, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed on Wednesday said there was no incident of killing during the operation at Shapla Chattar in the city.
“As no lethal weapon was used by law enforcers in the late night action to drive away Hefajat activists, there’s no possibility of killing at that time,” Benazir told a press briefing at the DMP Media Centre.
Col. Yahya Azam, Dhaka sector commander of BGB, Lt. Col. Zia, director (intelligence) of Rab, were among others, present at the press conference.
The DMP boss said: “After conducting the drive, the joint force recovered four bodies wrapped with kafon (white burial cloths) from near the podium made by Hefajat-e-Islam.”
The joint force also recovered three more bodies from other places in Motijheel area at the same time, he claimed.
At least four people, including a policeman, were killed in separate attacks by unruly activists of Jamaat-Shibir, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, Jubo Dal and Hefajat during the Hefajat’s Dhaka siege programme on Sunday, said the DMP Commissioner.
A total of 11 bodies were recovered from the area during violence on Sunday’s Dhaka siege programme and early Monday’s Shapla Chattar crackdown, he said.
About the rumour that many people, killed during the Shapla Chattar crackdown, were kept hidden, Benazir said: “A vested quarter is trying to gain political benefit by spreading such rumour of mass killing”.
“We have decided to conduct the operation as Motijheel is the country’s commercial hub. As the Hefajat activists resorted to violence all day log during their siege programme, it was imperative for the government to drive away them from the area”.
Benazir said the joint force first warned them to leave the area in order to avert casualties and losses. As the Hefajat activists ignored the order, the joint force used non-lethal weapons such as teargas shells, water cannon, sound grenades and rubber bullets to drive them away.
Police aided by Rab and BGB members carried out the operation, he said.
The operation was conducted from two sides — one from Dainik Bangla intersection and another Notre Dame College area side while Ittefaq intersection area remained opened so that the Hefajat activists can flee the Shapla Chattar through the area, he said.
Replying to a query on giving permission for holding the rally by the Hefajat at the Shapla Chhattar, Benazir said: “DMP allowed the Hefajat to hold the rally considering their democratic rights, religious feelings and the promise of the Hefajat leaders. The Hefajat leaders had promised us to leave the Shapla Chattar by evening on the day.”
“We’ve been forced to disperse them from Shapla Chattar as they failed to keep up promise,” he said.
The press briefing was arranged in the wake of allegation made by the Hefajat and a countrywide rumour that many people were killed and many others injured and the bodies were concealed during the crackdown.
Source: UNB Connect