Jamaat targets transport

Dhaka city was relatively calm during the strike but Jamaat-e-Islami supporters tried sabotaging the railways in the districts during their two-day nationwide shutdown on Sunday.

Staff Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 3 March 2013, 02:39 AM
Updated : 3 March 2013, 08:59 AM

Their main target appeared to be trans-Bangladesh road-rail links, as the sabotage and the attacks were focussed on railway tracks,loaded trucks and buses. Road blockades were further meant to cause disruption in movement of goods and people outside Dhaka.

A certain facebook page believed to be under Islami Chhatra Shibir control had posted directions to isolate Dhaka from rest of the country.

Communications

Bogra Railway Station was set on fire Sunday morning, said Bogra Railway Station Master Belal Hossain. Fire Service officials said they were blocked en route to douse fires.

Three coaches of inter-city ‘Silk City’ were set on fire on Saturday night in Rajshahi Railway Station, said its station Master Anisur Rahman. He however, did not say who committed the sabotage.

Rail link with Noakhali was disrupted for six hours later at 9am Sunday morning after ‘miscreants’ had uprooted rail tracks at Bipulasar area on the Noakhali-Laksham route, Noakhali Railway Station Master Maniklal Das said.

However, security at Kamalapur Railway Station in Dhaka was raised with additional security measures, said the station’s Station Master Sakhawat Hossain Khan.

Police and authorities have blamed all railway sabotages on the Jamaat, saying it was all part of a plan of extensive disruption.

Roads across several districts have been blocked for the past few days. Clashes erupt whenever police intervenes. Casualties have followed when police or borderguards have opened fire.

Scores of tourists were stranded at Cox’s Bazar unable to return for days due to road blockades.

Even on Sunday, Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Jatrabari was blocked with logs and burning tyres. Attempts were on to set up road blockades at Chittagong, Noakhali, Rajshahi, Kustia and several other areas.

Buses on these roads were damaged. Trucks plying in most areas faced attacks.

Jamaat men are attacking trucks mainly to cut off supplies to the districts.

Shutdown supporters set a loaded truck on fire in Benapole land port area, officials said. Operations at port were normal despite the strike.

The reported facebook post had asked to paralyse all launch and bus terminals.

Police

Jamaat-Shibir activists have also been waging attacks on police for the past few days. Several policemen were killed and many more were injured in the attacks.

Reports of attacks on a police station and four police outposts in Bogra pointed to a 'coordinated pattern'.

The idea appears to be to force the police to be confined to barracks, outposts or stations in a defensive mode which will allow the Jamaat-Shibir activists to run amok and paralyse life elsewhere.

Casualties also sustained during the attacks helps raise the pitch of anti-government criticism.
The facebook post had directed to lay seige to all police stations in Bangladesh .
Police however said they were prepared for any eventuality.
The International Crimes Tribunal-1 sentenced Jamaat leader Delwar Hossain Sayedee to death on Thursday.
What was an apparent peaceful Jamaat shutdown on that day, became violent nationwide soon after the verdict was delivered. At least 40 casualties were incurred till Saturday.
Jamaat had warned of a ‘civil war’ on Feb 4, the day before Jamaat Assistant Secretary General Abdul Quader Molla was sentenced life in prison.