Police yet to find who set the two trains on fire

The Mohanganj Express was set on fire on 19 December and the Benapole Express was set to fire on 5 JanuaryFile photo

The police are still in dark as to who set fire to the two trains in the capital’s Tejgaon and Gopibagh.

Almost two months have passed since the Mohanganj Express was set on fire in Tejgaon and more than a month has passed since the Gopibagh incident.

However, there is no progress in either of the two cases. The police haven’t been able to find the arsonists. In this situation, the cases are being transferred to two separate agencies. Superintendent of railway police in Dhaka (SP) Md Anwar Hossain confirmed this to Prothom Alo.

Earlier on 19 December, miscreants set fire to the Mohanganj Express early morning killing four, including a woman and her children. And the Benapole Express was set on fire two days before the national polls on 5 December. Four people were killed in the incident.

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Two separate cases were filed with the railway police station in Dhaka over the incident. SP Anwar Hossain was given the responsibility of investigating these two cases of sabotage. At the same time, the detective branch (DB) of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) launched shadow investigations over the incidents.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, SP Anwar Hossain said two suspecious persons were seen boarding the Mohanganj Express from the Airport railway station in the CCTV footage. They got off the train at the Tejgaon station before the fire broke out. Their movements were suspicious. However, it was not possible to identify them.

He further said it would have been possible to get more information regarding the attacks had they been arrested. They did not get any information in this regard from Jubo Dal leader Mukit, who was arrested by the DB police on suspicion of being involved in the sabotage.

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Speaking regarding the other case, SP Anwar Hossain said the DB police arrested BNP leader Nabiullah Nabi and Jubo Dal leader Kazi Mansur Alam for setting the Benapole Express on fire. Later, they both were shown arrested by Dhaka Railway Police. They were questioned in remand. After that they were sent to prison by the court. While in remand, they said they held a virtual meeting on WhatsApp regarding planning sabotage where a Jubo Dal leader took the responsibility to set fire on trains. However, the police couldn’t identify that Jubo Dal leader either.

The police headquarters have decided to transfer these two cases to two separate agencies. The case over the fire on Mohanganj Express will be handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the police and the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) will investigate the other case.

RAB arrested some nine suspected persons on 21 December over the fire on Mohanganj Express. However, they were released after questioning as RAB couldn’t find any evidence of their involvement in the incident.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo regarding this on Wednesday, RAB-1 director Lieutenant Colonel Mostak Ahmed said, “There is not much progress in the case filed over the arson on Mohanganj Express.”

Earlier, RAB said they would identify four persons involved in the incident. Addressing a press conference at the Kamalapur railway station on 21 December, RAB-3 director Lieutenant Colonel Arif Mahiuddin Ahmed said two of these four persons were involved in the anti-government politics and the other two persons are floating people.

Later, Arif Mahiuddin Ahmed said these four persons don’t match the faces seen in the CCTV footage.

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On 21 December, a top DB official said that they had identified the people who set fire on the Mohanganj Express. However, later they said that they got information on the people involved in the arson from Jubo Dal leader Mukit while questioning him in another case. However, the DB officials now are saying that there is no progress in the case.

Meanwhile, the DB police claimed that BNP leader Nabiullah and Jubo Dal leader Mansur were involved in the arson on Benapole Express in Gopibagh. After their arrest, the DB police handed them over to the Dhaka Railway Police. However, the police are yet to identify the arsonists in this case.

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