263 cases against BNP men in Dhaka, investigations of only 3 cases complete

Leaders and activists of BNP and its front organisations arrested in various cases being taken by prison van from the CMM court lockup to jailFile Photo: Prothom Alo

A total of 263 cases have been filed on allegations of setting fire to vehicles, attacking police, damaging property and killing on day of the BNP's 28 October rally last year and during the subsequent hartals (general strikes) and blockades. Most of the accused in these cases are BNP leaders and activists of various levels. Of such a large number of cases, investigations have been completed of only three in the last five months.

Investigations into the cases regarding two trains being set on fire in Tejgaon and Gopibagh of the capital before the election, have also dragged on at a slow pace. Over three months have passed since the incidents of the trains being set on fire. In the meantime, the responsibility of investigating the case has been shifted from the police to CID and PBI. However, investigations haven't progressed.

Many vehicles were set on fire after 28 October in Dhaka city. Most of the cases are in relation to those incidents. And in many cases the accused are unidentified.

According to Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), 257 cases were filed from 28 October till 31 December. In the following 18 days, another 6 cases were filed. Most of the cases, according to the police, were on allegations of furtive attacks to set vehicles on fire.

Many vehicles were set on fire after 28 October in Dhaka city. Most of the cases are in relation to those incidents. And in many cases the accused are unidentified.

According to DMP headquarters, in only three cases have investigations been completed and reports submitted to court. Of these, the final investigation report of a case with Paltan police station has been submitted. Chargesheets in a case under the Speedy Trial Act lodged at Kafrul police station and a case at Rupnagar police station, have been submitted. These two cases are no related to arson.

The most cases, 61 in total, based on allegations of offences after 28 October, including setting fire to vehicles, damaging property and killing, were filed with DMP Motijheel division. There are 56 cases with the Wari division and 51 with the Mirpur division.

Concerned officials say, most of the cases filed at the Motijheel division centering BNP's 28 October rally, are on allegations of attacking the police and killing, attacking the police hospital and setting fire to vehicles. The accused in these cases range from BNP's central leaders to leaders and activists of all levels in the party.

After 28 October, vehicles were set on fire in Mirpur and Wari divisions of the capital during the hartal and blockade called by BNP. That is why there were more cases in these areas. Most of the accused are unidentified.

Explaining the delay in investigating these cases, the police's Motijheel division deputy commissioner (DC) Hayatul Islam Khan told Prothom Alo, centering the 28  October rally, most of the sabotage-related cases were in Paltan, Motijheel and Shahjahanpur, all over Motijheel division. There are many unidentified accused persons in these cases. On that day, many BNP men were involved in attacks, damaging property, arson, snatching police firearms, killing and various offences. They are being identified and their names and addresses determined. Once these matters are ascertained, chargesheets will be submitted to court.

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The Dhaka Railway Police were initially investigating the case regarding the incident of two trains being set on fire at Tejgaon and Gopibagh in the capital before the 12th Jatiya Sangsad election. But as no progress was made in investigations, the Tejgaon case was shifted to the police's Criminal Investigation Department (CID). And the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) was given responsibility of the Gopibagh case.

Four persons including a mother and child were burnt to death in Mohanganj Express train fire in Tejgaon early 19 December morning. Two days before the 12th Jatiya Sangsad election, on 5 January night, four died when miscreants set fire to the Benapole Express train in Gopibagh.

Speaking to Prothom Alo about the case investigation, the Dhaka district Railway police super Anwar Hossain said, it wasn't possible to make much progress with the case. Two specialised units of the police are now investigating the cases.

When asked about the Gopibagh train fire, CID's additional police super (media), Azad Rahman, told Prothom Alo, investigations are on.

No progress has been made so far in investigations into the Tejgaon train fire incident, said the PBI chief, additional IGP Banaj Kumar Majumder.

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