Sixteen incidents of arson have occurred in various areas of the country, including Dhaka, from yesterday, Sunday, to 9:00 am today, Monday. During this period, 18 vehicles were set on fire, according to information provided in a notification by the fire service.
The breakdown of the incidents is as follows: 3 incidents in Dhaka City, 1 in Dhaka Division, 7 in Rajshahi Division (Natore, Bogura, Sirajganj), 4 in Chattogram Division (Feni, Mirsarai, Satkania), and 1 in Mymensingh Division (Jamalpur). The vehicles that were burnt include 9 buses, 1 covered van, 6 trucks, 1 CNG autorickshaw, and 1 train (3 coaches).
The fire service reported that a truck was set on fire in Kamarkhand upazila of Sirajganj at 12:42 am today. Additionally, three buses were set ablaze in Satkania upazila of Chattogram at 4:05 am today, and a truck was set on fire in Mirsarai upazila at 4:45 am.
A train was set on fire in Jamalpur's Sarishabari upazila at 1:20 am today, resulting in the burning of three coaches. Just 10 minutes later, a truck was set ablaze in Bogura around 1:30 am. Another 10 minutes after that, at 1:40 am, a covered van was set on fire in Feni. In Natore's Bhabaniganj, a bus was set on fire at 3:20 am.
Additionally, a CNG-run auto-rickshaw on Kazi Alauddin Road in Bangabazar of the capital caught fire around 8:30 am yesterday morning due to a crude bomb explosion. Subsequently, a bus was set on fire in Rajshahi's Godagari upazila at 5:35 pm.
In Nandigram upazila of Bogura, a truck was set on fire at 7:15 pm. At 8:10 pm, another bus was set ablaze in Mohipal, Feni. In front of Anwar Khan Modern Hospital in Dhanmondi area of the capital, a bus was set on fire at 8:25 pm.
Continuing the spree, a bus was set on fire in Puthia upazila of Rajshahi at 9:52 pm. A few minutes later, at 9:58 pm, another bus was set on fire in front of Jatrabari police station. In Nandigram upazila of Bogura, a truck was torched at 10:25 pm. A few minutes later, at 10:58 pm, a truck was set on fire in the Mir Bazar area of Tongi.
A total of 29 units and 144 members of the fire service and civil defense worked to bring these fires under control.
A 48-hour hartal called by the BNP commenced yesterday nationwide, protesting against the announcement of the 'one-sided' schedule for the National Parliament elections following a series of five rounds of blockade programmes.
The strike, initiated at 6:00 am yesterday, is scheduled to continue until 6:00 am tomorrow, Tuesday. BNP has urged the public to join in the peaceful hartal activities on the streets. In solidarity, many like-minded parties and alliances, including Jamaat-e-Islami, have also participated in the strike.
This marks the second phase of shutdowns by opposition parties, including BNP, since 28 October. On that date, a dawn-to-dusk hartal was observed nationwide to protest the police attack on BNP's mass meeting in Naya Paltan on 29 October.
Following this, the opposition parties, including BNP, executed a series of road, railway, and waterway blockades across the country, spanning a total of 11 days in five stages.