Microbus set on fire, BNP claims passengers were its leaders, activists

Miscreants set fire to the microbus on Natore-Bogura highway in front of Dighapatia textile mills in Natore Sadar upazila on 17 September, 2023
Prothom Alo

Miscreants set a microbus on fire on Natore-Bogura highway in front of Dighapatia textile mills in Natore Sadar upazila on Sunday morning.

Leaders of the district unit of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) claimed the passengers of the microbus were their leaders and activists and were going to attend the party’s road march in Bogura.

Prothom Alo, however, could neither independently verify the claim about the passengers, nor the identity of the owner of the vehicle.

The BNP leaders also could not inform the media the identity of the passengers.

Police confirmed the incident of fire but could not say who set fire to it and the reasons behind the act.

Police and local people said that some six-eight youths took position in front of the textile mill at around 10:30 am. They intercepted the Bogura-bound microbus when it reached there and set fire to it with the passengers inside. Some 10-12 passengers got down the vehicle swiftly to save their lives.

They further said the youths beat the passengers indiscriminately when they got down.

The police and firefighters are trying to extinguish the fire
Prothom Alo

Firefighters of Natore fire service office and police members from Sadar police station started extinguishing the fire but the microbus was gutted completely.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, district BNP’s acting convener Shahidul Islam said the party’s leaders and activists from Lalpur upazila were going to attend the road march of the party secretary general.

He alleged that the cadres of the governing Awami League stopped the microbus, set it on fire and hacked the BNP leaders and activists. The injured are taking treatment at secret places to save their lives.

Shahidul Islam, however, could not say the names and identities of the passengers. “I’m trying to contact them. I’ll inform you whenever I find out.”

Countering the claims of the BNP leader, district Awami League joint general secretary Malek Sheikh said none of their party men were involved in the act of setting fire to the microbus. “BNP’s allegations are not true.”

Speaking to Prothom Alo from the spot, Natore Sadar police station officer-in-charge Nasim Ahmed said, “We found the microbus burning at the spot. The firefighters are trying to douse the blaze. But we could not know anything about the passengers of the microbus and the miscreants who set it on fire.”

He further said no one lodged any complaint and they were trying to find out information regarding the incident.