Natore: Masked miscreants launch series of attacks on oppositon men


Nine leaders and activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and Jamaat-e-Islami came under gruesome attack in four upazilas in Natore in the last one month. Some of them were beaten, some hacked and some others were shot by unidentified miscreants. Of the injured persons, five are still languishing at hospital.

A BNP leader sustained three bullet shots. Attackers severed tendons of two persons while miscreants wearing masks broke the arms and legs of six others.

Of the victims, one is a BNP leader and two ar Jubo Dal leaders. The other six are leaders, activists and supporters of Jamaat-e-Islami. Six out of nine incidents took place in the district’s Naldanga upazila while three incidents happened in Natore Sadar, Singra and Lalpur upazilas.

Although the opposition leaders and activists came under consecutive attacks, only two cases were filed on Sunday. Two victims filed the cases without mentioning any accused. No one was arrested so far in these cases.

The victims claimed they did not have any enmity with anyone and they were attacked only for their political allegiance to opposition parties.

Talking with the victims and witnesses and analysing the incidents provide a common pattern that masked miscreants waylaid the victims either day or night. The attackers picked up the victims in white microbus. During the nine incidents of attack, the miscreants used iron rods, Chinese axes and firearms. The miscreants were wearing masks in all but one incident.

The victims claimed they did not have any enmity with anyone and they were attacked only for their political allegiance to opposition parties.
They also allege that the miscreants are not arrested due to negligence of police.

Police, however, claimed they are investigating the incidents in their own way.

Series of attack

Police and local sources said the first incident took place in Naldanga upazila at 8:00pm on 16 October. Jamaat-e-Islami Natore unit’s financier and patron Nasir Uddin Sarker, 65, came under attack while returning to home at Banshila from Naldanga Bazar. Jamaat activist and Islamic speaker Nowshad Nomani, 42, was riding the motorbike, taking Nasir along. Around six to seven masked miscreants intercepted the bike at Sonapatil-Taltola area. They beat the two up with iron rods and left them unconscious. The next incident took place on 25 October night. Jamaat activist and village doctor Alauddin, 60, was attacked while returning to his home from Nosrotpur Bazar. Another village doctor and the secretary of Naldanga upazila Jamaat came under attack the following day, on 26 October.

The miscreants cut the tendons of the 65 year old Jamaat secretary Fazlur Rahman’s, 65.

District BNP’s convening committee member Saiful Islam, 42, was chatting with others in front of his house during BNP’s blockade on 29 October morning. Saiful alleged that he was chased by some miscreants from a Jubo League procession and shot by them. None of the attackers were wearing masks. Saiful has been receiving treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

On 30 October, Naldanga’s Khajura union Jamaat ameer (chief) Mosharraf Hossain, 47, was picked up on a microbus from his home. The miscreants broke his hands and legs.

On 3 November night, Lalpur upazila Bilmaria union Jubo Dal’s secretary Masud Sarker was picked up forcibly while he was returning home after closing his shop in Bilmaria Bazar. The miscreants took him near Gopalpur Mahila College some 10 kilometer away and left him critically injured. The attackers later severed tendons of his hands and legs.

On 10 November, a group of masked people picked up Abdur Razzak, general secretary of Chhatardighi Union unit of Jamaat-e-Islami in Singra upazila, and broke his hands and legs while he was returning home after performing Juma prayer.

Abdur Razzak was attacked in Singra upazila’s Kaliganj. A witness in the incident on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo that a white microbus intercepted a motorbike and blindfolded the biker (Abdur Razzak) and took him on a vehicle.

In the latest incident, a Jubo Dal leader was picked up on a microbus on 12 November at around 8:30pm in Naldanga upazila’s Ramshakazipur village. The miscreants broke the hands and legs of Sajib Hossain, 32, beating him with hammer. Sajib is the organising secretary of ward Jubo Dal. 

Five are in hospital, 2 cases filed

Four victims—Saiful Islam, Masud Sarker, Abdur Razzak and Sajib Hossain are still receiving treatment in RMCH. Fazlur Rahman is being treated in Dhaka.

Nasir Uddin came under attack on 16 October. The police took his complaint as a case finally on Sunday, 28 days after the incident. Nasir said he is not involved with any politics but supports Jamaat. Nasir suspects he was attacked due to political vengeance.

Village doctor Alauddin said he had no enmity with anyone. He came under attack only for involvement with Jamaat. Alauddin filed a written complaint but police initially did not want to take the case. Later the police registered the case.

In reply to a question, Naldanga police station’s officer in charge Abul Kalam said the victims can go to court if they cannot trust police. Other agencies can investigate if the case is filed in the court.

Singra police station’s officer in charge Mizanur Rahman said, “I heard about an incident in Kaliganj. None filed any complaint. Police went to the spot. We are investigating secretly. None were identified so far.”

District BNP’s member secretary Rahim Newaz told Prothom Alo that police are yet to nab any miscreants.

He does not think police will arrest the criminals.

The BNP leader asked why police cannot bring the perpetrators to justice even if the victims cannot file case.

Saiful said the incident took place in front of his elderly mother and teenage son. His mother has not been normal since witnessing the incident.

Asked about the incidents, Natore’s police superintendent Md Tariqul Islam on Friday told Prothom Alo that he would come to inform the development after inquiring about the incidents.

Bullet-hit BNP leader Saiful Islam broke down in tears after being asked he was attacked.

The attack was totally unexpected, he said adding that he did not have any enmity with anyone.

Saiful said the incident took place in front of his elderly mother and teenage son.

His mother is has not been normal since witnessing the incident.