Mass violence before and after Sayedee verdict last year


Nikhil Shil pleads for justice when journalists, social workers and the chairman of National Human Rights Commission visited his house in Banshkhali on March 9, 2013
Nikhil Shil pleads for justice when journalists, social workers and the chairman of National Human Rights Commission visited his house in Banshkhali on March 9, 2013

From a rally at Motijheel on February 4 last year, the leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir threatened to wage war against the government if its top leaders facing war crimes charges were convicted.

They also spoke against the trial procedure terming it politically-motivated. Everything happened in front of the police. They were so furious that the tribunal later summoned three of the Jamaat leaders including a former MP.

The following day was set for delivering verdict in Abdul Quader Molla case.

They also announced shutdown for the February 5, when the tribunal delivered verdict against the first Jamaat leader. In January, the tribunal sentenced to death fugitive Abul Kalam Azad alias Bachchu Razakar. But since he was an expelled leader of Jamaat, the party did not react.

On February 5 and afterwards, the Jamaat-Shibir men carried out attacks on the state properties including rail tracks, the law enforcers, Awami League supporters and the Hindus. They have not even spared the Shaheed Minars from their marauding spree to desecrate the symbols of our national unity and identity.

The attacks continued sporadic throughout March when the historic Shahbagh movement gained massive public support.

The attacks escalated when the tribunal on February 27 declared that it would deliver verdict in Delawar Hossain Sayedee case the following day. Jamaat announced hartal again and started attacks, quite systemically.

Since 28 February through March 5, around 60 people were reportedly killed in different parts of the country, including general people without any political affiliation.

The destruction of the Palli Bidyut Samity office in Shibganj, Chapainawabganj alone bled the power sector of financial loss worth Tk200 crore approximately. The railway sector was badly hit with a clear motive. A number of train wagons were burnt to ashes in Rajshahi and Dhaka, rail lines derailed and station rooms destroyed, causing financial loss to the tune of Tk8.5 crore, according to government estimates.

The Jamaat-Shibir men threw off an engineer to death from the roof of a Parjatan motel in Chapainawabganj; brutally attacked an elderly Hindu man as he tried to resist their rampage and later succumbed to his injuries in Banshkali, Chittagong; killed a former Chhatra League leader by attacking him in a preplanned manner in a local garage in Sylhet; torched with petrol an auto-rickshaw carrying two fish traders who suffered serious burn injuries in Netrakona; and mercilessly hacked to death a number of police personnel in Gaibandha, Bogra and elsewhere.

They continued to attack houses, temples and prayer premises of the Hindus. In most instances, as in Bogra, Joypurhat, Sirajganj, Noakhali or Chittagong, the attacks were launched in a preplanned manner, and on occasions, violent Jamaat-Shibir processions suddenly veered towards predominantly Hindu neighbourhoods and launched indiscriminate attacks against them.

In some parts of Chittagong, Feni and Bogra, they incited violence by disseminating the absurd image of Sayedee being visible on the moon.

They used women and children as human shields to allow the cadres carrying out their rioting and vandalism under cover. It is contrary to the Convention of the Rights of the Child and the National Children Policy 2012 that prohibits use of children in political and terrorist activities.

Until March 4, 2013, a total of 235 cases were lodged in connection with the violence in different parts of the country and 1,572 people arrested.

It is alleged that during the days of attacks, pro-Jamaat and pro-BNP newspapers and TV channels like the daily Sangram, the daily Amar Desh, the daily Naya Diganta, the daily Inqilab and Diganta TV instigated the agitators publicly.

List of attacks, clashes prepared by the govt

February 28:

Gaibandha:

Armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack Bamandanga Rail Station; torch three rooms of the Station and disrupt rail connection by removing rail slippers; torch Bamandanga Investigation Centre and brutally attack four police constables with sharp weapons and sticks and fire them to death; also grievously injure three other constables who remain in critical condition;

attack Sundarganj police station later where police fire at the attackers in self-defence at the instruction of the executive magistrate; three miscreants are hit by bullets at police attack.

Chittagong:

Unruly Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack police on the Chittagoing-Cox’s Bazar highway under Lohagara in a pre-planned manner; torch a community centre; grievously injure three police personnel and take their arms that were rescued later. They torch a fire service vehicle in Keranihaat in Satkania; cause damage to the vehicles of ASP Circle, RAB and the police station; police take legally sanctioned action to bring the situation under control.

The attackers torch Banshkhali police station, UNO Office and vehicles and set alight valuable records and furniture in a pre-planned manner; torch shops and vehicles of local business people and pharmaceutical companies as well as three-four houses; create anarchy through violence and looting.

In Banshkali, the Jamaat-Shibir activists attacks a number of Shil households in the area and set the houses on fire; they attack one Dayal Haridas, 65, as he tries to prevent the Jamaat-Shibir miscreants; he succumbs to his injuries in hospital while under treatment; the Jamaat-Shibir men vandalise and torch a number of shops and CNG garage belonging to some local Hindus and Buddhists, causing damage to properties to the tune of around Tk50 lakh; the Jammat-Shibir activists torch religious temples and sites of the Hindus with the support of the BNP activists.

Jhenidah:

Unruly Jamaat-Shibir leaders and supporters, along with the BNP supporters, bring out armed processions and engage in indiscriminate violence and vandalism in Court Chandpur area.

They attack the on-duty OC of the police station and other police and ansar members; 17 members of law enforcing agencies seriously injured during the mayhem; six of them were admitted to Jessore Combined Military Hospital from where they were shifted by helicopter to Dhaka’s CMH in further critical condition.

Chapainawabganj:

Armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack the peaceful procession by general people welcoming the tribunal verdict of the day; attack on-duty police with sticks, bricks and weapons and indiscriminately vandalise shops, commercial offices in the surrounding areas. As police failed to restrain the rioting mob through peaceful means, police fired at them, at the instruction of the executive magistrate, in self-defence and to protect public life and property; one person taking part in the riots get seriously injured and succumbs to his injuries while under treatment at the Chapainawabganj Sadar Hospital.

Jamaat-Shibir cadres vandalise and torch the newly-built Parjatan (Tourism) Motel in the area; an engineer by the name of Tauheedul Islam try to save himself from the armed violence and mayhem by taking shelter on the roof of the Motel; the Jamaat-Shibir cadres pushes him off the roof and kills him.

In Kansat under Shibganj upazila, the Jamaat-Shibir cadres vandalise, loot and torch the head office of local Rural Electrification Association; vandalise the housing complex of the office and set the houses on fire while keeping 48 families interned; police rushes to the spot and bring the situation under control; the damages done to the office is to the tune of around Tk200 crore.

The Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists take out a violent procession the same day and in a pre-planned manner attack the local residence of the state minister for power, energy and mineral resources in Shibganj. The police and BGB lodge tear gas shells and fire shotguns to disperse the unruly mob; the local people come forward to support the police; a man named Abdur Rahim is grievously injured and succumbs to his injuries on the spot.

Satkhira:

Unruly and armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack police and BGB personnel with bows and arrows, petrol bombs and firearms; a number of police personnel and civilians are injured during the attacks; in self-defence, police and BGB fire at the mob to disperse them and bring the situation under control; four people get killed in this incident.

A violent Jamaat-Shibir procession vandalise and torch the house of a local student leader of Chhatra League named Mamun; they beat Mamun in a brutal and inhuman manner and grievously injure him; Mamun succumbs to this injure on way to being transported to the Khulna Medical College Hospital.

Natore:

Jamaat-Shibir miscreants beat to death the Joint Secretary General of Union Jubo League Md Khairul Islam, 35, in Lalpur.

Noakhali:

Armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack and torch the house of one Pulak in Begumganj; they attack the Begumganj Circle ASP, officer-in-charge and other police personnel with local weapons and bricks; as the situation spiralled out of control, police were forced to fire at the mob to protect public life and property, protect government arms and bring the situation under control.

Dhaka:

In Mirpur 1, the Jamaat-Shibir miscreants carried out clandestine bomb attacks to create fear and anarchy in the area; a man named Moslem Uddin is killed on the spot due to bomb blast.

March 1, 2013:

Gaibandha:

Jamaat-Shibir activists attack a bazar in Sundarganj with sticks, iron rods, spears and other weapons and vandalise the shops. As the local people protest against their vandalism, the Jamaat-Shibir activists beat to death a man named Md Shariful Islam.

They also attack the Sundarganj UNO and police force all of a sudden as they were moving towards Bamandanga to take control of law and order. The police fire blank shots to disperse the violent mob.

Joypurhat:

After Jumma prayers, thousands of unruly Jamaat-Shibir cadres carry out vandalism, loot and arson in the Hindu locality of Kashra Gobindapur under Panchbibi upazila; they torch and destroy furniture in many Hindu households; when the police reached the spot led by the local UNO, the Jamaat-Shibir activists attacked them and damaged a police pick-up van; police had to bring the situation under control by firing tear gas shells and rubber bullet.

Netrakona:

Jamaat-Shibir cadres torch a Kali Mandir (Temple of Goddess Kali) in Purbadhala upazila.

March 2, 2012:

Chittagong – Cox’s Bazar:

Hundreds of unruly and armed Jamaat-Shibir activists put up barricade on the roads between Kenanirhat and Chakaria around different bazaar areas and damaged vehicles plying on the road; they stop traffic on the Chittagong-Bandarban-Cox’s Bazar road; they attack the on-duty police as the latter try to restrain them from violence and damages to vehicles; police has to lodge tear gas shells and fire shotguns to disperse the mob; three Jamaat-Shibir activists are killed during these incidents.

Nilphamari:

Unruly Jamaat-Shibir activists obstruct a BGB patrol and attack the law enforcement agencies all of a sudden; the law enforcers make every possible efforts to disperse the mob without resorting to firing; but the mob gets more aggressive and violent and grievously injure a BGB personnel named Momin Miah; BGB fires 10 rounds of fire to disperse the mob; a man named Atiqul Islam dies of bullet wounds on the spot.

Pirojpur:

Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists bring out a procession and attack a local Awami League office in Indurkani upazila.

Sylhet:

Armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack former Chhatra League leader Jogot Jyoti Talukdar and two of his colleagues in a local workshop in Jalalabad in Sylhet town and kill him in a pre-planned manner by arriving on the scene by 10-12 motorcycles; the two colleagues Jewel Ahmed and Joy Sen were left behind on the spot with grievous wounds and in an unconscious state; police take them to Sylhet Osmani Medical College Hospital.

Feni:

The District Jamaat brings out a procession and cause damage to a local market and bank offices and booths in Feni Sadar.

Rajshahi:

An armed and violent Jamaat-Shibir procession vandalises shops in Boalia upazila; they hurl cocktail bombs and bricks at on-duty police; they vandalise the offices of Rajshahi Chamber of Commerce and Dutch-Bangla Bank; a number of people including police personnel and a Banglavision TV journalist are seriously injured during the incident.

Around 10pm, Jamaat-Shibir miscreants torch and turn to ashes three wagons of Dhaka-Rajshahi inter-city Silk City train waiting at the Rajshahi rail station.

March 3, 2013:

Satkhira:

Armed Jamaat-Shibir cadres put barricade on road by felling down trees and damage vehicles; the unruly mob hurl bricks and cocktail bombs at two BGB vehicles passing by and at one point attacked the vehicles; as the BGB vehicles move towards Satkhira town, the Jamaat-Shibir cadres once again attack the vehicles and seriously injure three BGB personnel; as the BGB fails to restrain the mob, they fire at them in self-defence and manage to disperse the crowd; a number of people in mod got injured during the incident; among them, one Md Mahbubur Rahman, 33, later succumb to his injuries.

Bogra:

At 5:30am, Jamaat-Shibir cadres attack, vandalise and torch Phulbari and Upashohor police barracks in a pre-planned manner; police and fire service personnel from Bogra Sadar rushed to the spots and put down the fire; a number of vehicles including two motorcycles and a seized truck were burnt during the incidents.

Separate processions of Jamaat-Shibir cadres start moving towards Satmatha area of Bogra town with sticks and sharp weapons; they try to vandalise and torch the Sadar police station and the Gono Jagaran Manch (Mass Uprising Stage); they turn violent as police and RAB try to restrain them and hurl bricks and cocktail bombs at them; the police and the RAB men lodge tear gas shells and resort to baton charge to disperse the mob; the mob becomes more ferocious and in self-defence and in order to protect public property, police and RAB fire shotgun and rifles; three miscreants are killed at the firing.

Another armed Jamaat-Shibir group vandalises and torch the house of the district Awami League leader Mr Momtajuddin; they also try to attack the house of a local MP elected from the Sonatala-Sariakandi constituency; the police, RAB and BGB manage to disperse the mob.

On the same day, at 5:30am, a group of Jamaat-Shibir activists vandalise and torch the Awami League and freedom fighters’ office in Shahjahanpur and attempt to attack the police station by surrounding it; police lodge tear gas shells and rubber bullets and resort to baton charge to disperse the mob; the mob turns more violent at this and attack the police with sticks and local weapons and torch the police station and a police pick-up van; the officer-in-charge along with seven other police personnel are seriously injured; on-duty police fire shotgun, pistol and rifle at the instruction of the UNO in self-defence and to bring the situation under control; four people are killed on the spot during the incident.

Around 5am, a group of hartal supporters bring out a procession on the highway under Shibganj upazila and all of a sudden attack the Mokamtala police barrack and damage a motorcycle there; the on-duty police lodge tear gas shell and resort to baton charge and shotgun fire to protect themselves and public property; the mob turns more violent and start hurling cocktail bombs and bricks and firing at the police investigation centre; in self-defence, the police at the investigation centre had to fire shotgun and rifle shots at the mob to disperse them; the situation comes under control and two people are killed.

Around 4am, the hartal supporters make an attempt to attack the Nandigram police station with sticks, hammers, iron rods, bricks, kerosene and petrol; due to the resistance put up by the police, they attack the Upazila Parishad office and vandalise the office and government vehicles at the premises; police fire blank shots to disperse the miscreants.

Police manage to restrain the mob from torching the temples and houses of religious minorities; however, the mob manages to damage the local Awami League office and some other houses.

Sirajganj:

At 4:30am, Jamaat-Shibir cadres bring out an armed procession in the municipal area in Belkuchi upazila in support of hartal; they burn tyres on the road and damage vehicles; at one stage, the unruly mob vandalise the local Awami League office; the on-duty policy lodge gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd and bring the situation under control.

At 6am, the Jamaat-Shibir activists attack the local Awami League office in Enayetpur upazila and vandalise the office records and furniture; at one stage, they attack a number of Hindu temples and puja premises; police rush to the spot and bring the situation under control.

Jhenidah:

At 11:15am, Jamaat-Shibir activists attack police in front of the Harinakundu UNO Office and brutally kill police constable GM Omar Faruque with sharp weapons; they also grievously injure a number of police and Ansar personnel; later additional police force despatch from the district sadar under the leadership of the additional police superintendent rescue the injure police personnel and bring the situation under control.

Rajshahi:

At 9:45am, heavily armed Jamaat-Shibir activists put barricade on the Rajshahi-Chapainawabganj highway with felled trees and burnt tires; they try to attack the police and BGB personnel with firearms and sticks from both sides; one police inspectors along with a number of police personnel get wounded; at one point, the police had to resort to firing in self-defence and protect public life and property; two people named Md Rafiqul Islam and Md Mojahid get killed at the incident.

Joypurhat:

At 11am, a large group of unruly Jamaat-Shibir miscreants gathered around the Panchbibi police station and started damaging the adjacent Shaheed Minar; as police try to prevent them from doing so, they turn even more violent and start throwing bricks and cocktail bombs at the police station and try to set the station on fire by breaking open its gate; in view of the fast deteriorating situation, the on-duty police at the station had to resort to firing in self-defence and to maintain law and order and to safeguard the arms and ammunition at the police station; six people get killed at the incident and 25-26 people injured during the incident.

Dhaka:

Jamaat-Shibir cadres lodge a cocktail bomb near Pan-Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the evening; the miscreants throw a cocktail bomb at the Head office of Bangladesh Television and set two rail wagons on fire.

March 4, 2013:

Sirajganj:

At 8am, a large number of Jamaat-Shibir activists damage a bridge in Purba Delowa under Ullahpara upazila and take preparations to attack a local Hindu locality and a temple; they also fire at the Office-in-charge of the Police Station as he arrives on the scene with his force; initially, the police lodge tear gas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd; at this, the unruly mob further intensifies their attack on the police; at one stage, the police was forced to fire at the mob to disperse it; later it was confirmed that one Mahfuz, 22, was killed by the Jamaat-Shibir miscreants during the attack.

Satkhira:

At 11:35am, a large group of Jamaat-Shibir activists gather around the Sarashkati bazaar under Kolaroa upazila and indulge in destructive activities having felled trees on the road; as the Kolaroa police rush to spot to restrain them from their anarchic activities, they turn more violent and attack both police and later BGB; the BGB members resort to firing in self-defence and for protection of public life and property; a number of Jamaat-Shibir miscreants are injured at the firing; among them, two succumb to their injuries later.

March 5, 2013:

Dhaka:

In the metropolitan area, at the time of hartal, there are cocktail bomb explosions in Shantinagar, Jonaki Market and BNP Party office areas; there are also some stray incidents of damaging cars and torching buses etc; police rush to every spot and bring the situation under control.

Netrakona:

Around 9:45am, the hartal supports hurl a petrol filled bottle at an auto-rickshaw and set it on fire near Mechhua Bazaar; two fish traders inside the auto-rickshaw suffered serious burn injuries; they were later taken to Netrakona Modern Sadar Hospital.

Jessore:

At 10:45am, Jamaat-Shibir and BNP activists bring out a procession together in support of hartal and obstruct vehicle movement near Chandipur Bazaar under Manirampur upazila; as they are resisted by Awami League activists, the two sides engage in a confrontation; two people are seriously injured at the incident and are taken to Jessore General Hospital for treatment; police bring the situation under control through swift intervention.

At 11am, the hartal supporters attack an Awami League supporter named Russell, 25, and injure him with blows by machetes on different parts of his body;

Systematic and Targeted Killings by Jamaat-Shibir and their Allies

On March 7, 2013, a Jubo League activist named Abdur Rahman was seriously injured in Golladanga Bazar in Bholarhaat in Chapainawabganj during an attack by the Jamaat-BNP cadres in the wake of a confrontation over keeping the shops open during hartal hours. Rahman later succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

On March 9, police recovered the dead body of one Ahmed Miraj, a businessman, beside the rail line under the under-construction Kuril Flyover in Dhaka. It appeared that the deceased was stifled to death. His family members suspect the involvement of the Jamaat-Shibir in the killing due to his elder brother Ahmed Imtiaz Bulbul, a noted musician and composer, being the prosecution witness in the war crimes case against Ghulam Azam, a prominent Jamaat leader, on charges of crimes against humanity and genocide.

On March 9, a police constable named Mofizul Islam was fired to death as he was taking part in a drive to arrest Jamaat-Shibir leaders and activists involved in violent activities in Baira upazila in Khulna.

In the immediate aftermath of the Shahbagh uprising, they killed a blogger and one of the lead organisers of the movement Ahmed Rajeeb Haider near his home in Mirpur, Dhaka while he was returning from Shahbagh on February 15. The five students arrested in connection with the murder admitted to the police that they had carried out the pre-planned and targeted killing at the instruction of a former student leader of the Islami Chhatra Shibir. 

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