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

Miscreants set six buses on fire suddenly in the capital Dhaka around noon today, Thursday.

The fire service said six buses were set on fire in different places between 12:30pm and 1:30pm. However, police said five buses were set on fire. None has been injured in the incidents.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, fire service officer Rasel Shikdar said the incident of setting fire to a bus first took place in Shajahanpur.

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Later the incidents took place in Kataban, near Madhumita cinema hall in Motijheel, in Golapshah Mazar area, in Nayabazar of Bangshal and near the National Press Club.

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The fire service tried to extinguish all the fires. The bus was gutted completely.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) sources said the incidents of setting fire to buses took place between 12:30pm and 1:30pm.

Police suspect miscreants in disguise of passengers got down after setting the buses on fire. However, the motive behind the incidents could not be known immediately.

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DMP (Media and Public Relation) deputy commissioner Walid Hossain told Prothom Alo that the miscreants in a planned way set the buses on fire as a part of sabotage.

He said efforts are on to identify the perpetrators with the help of CC camera footage, witnesses and law enforcers.

In connection with the incident of Kataban, witness Jahid Hasan, a restaurant worker of Jamjam Hotel at Aziz Super Market, said the bus was slowing speed due to traffic jam at around 1:30pm. At that time smoke was billowing from the back. The passengers on the bus quickly got down. Water was poured from the market. The fire extinguisher from the market was used in an attempt to put out the fire.

Bus driver of Dewan Paribahan, Md Raihan, said, "There were 12-13 passengers in my 40-seated bus. Around 2:00pm we suddenly noticed fire at the back of the bus after crossing Kataban signal. The seats in the back were vacant. I got down quickly after assisting the passengers to get down. The entire bus was gutted in three minutes."

Another witness said the passengers of Rajonigandha Paribahan got down swiftly when the bus caught fire in front of the National Press Club. Who set the bus on fire could not be known immediately, the witness added.

Shahbagh police station officer-in-charge Mohammad Mamun Ar Rashid said unidentified people set the buses on fire at Kataban and the press club area. None has been injured in the incidents. Preparation is on to file cases in connection with the incidents, he added.