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

Nine cases have been filed against 446 people ithe incidents of setting fire to 10 buses in the capital city on Thursday.

Among the accused, police have already arrested 20. Most of them are leaders and activists of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party.

In a case filed with Motijheel police station under The Special Powers Act, 1974 and The Explosives Act, BNP candidate for mayoral polls to Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Ishraque Hossain has been made accused.

Police filed all the cases against unknown people as well.

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Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) deputy commissioner (public relations & media) Walid Hossain said two cases have been filed with Motijheel, Shahbagh and Paltan police station each while one each with Bangsal, Bhatara and Kalabagan police stations.

The cases were filed on Thursday and Friday. Among the 20 arrested yesterday and today, one is from Motijheel, six from Shahbagh, nine from Paltan, and two each from Bangsal and Kalabagan.

Nine buses were set on fire in different areas of Dhaka between 12:00pm and 4:30pm. Another bus was set on fire at night. Among the buses, three were of the government.

Police said the first incident of the firing was reported from near the central office of the BNP in Naya Paltan around 12:00pm.

Police said miscreants in guise of passengers set fire to the buses and left the scene rapidly. The buses that were set on fire were carrying small number of passengers, between three and 12.

Whether the incidents were related to the by-elections to Dhaka-18 constituency is also being checked, the law enforcement agency said.

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Ruling Bangladesh Awami League and its front organisation Jubo League claimed that anti-liberation forces set fire to the buses yesterday. Separate processions and rallies were also organised at Bangabandhu Avenue in the afternoon in the capital protesting at the incidents.

On the other hand, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir condemned the incidents saying that those incidents were planned and motivated.