185 vehicles torched across Bangladesh since Oct 28 clashes

The vehicles set ablaze in the last 24 days include at least 118 buses

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 21 Nov 2023, 11:01 AM
Updated : 21 Nov 2023, 11:01 AM

Arsonists have set fire to 185 vehicles and 15 structures nationwide in the aftermath of violent clashes surrounding the BNP's anti-government rally on Oct 28.

Dhaka city witnessed the highest number of vehicle arson incidents in metropolitan areas, while Gazipur topped the list district-wise, according to data from the Department of Fire Service and Civil Defence.

As of Tuesday, a total of 197 arson attacks on vehicles and structures were reported across the country.

As part of its anti-government campaign to press for the resignation of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and the formation of a non-partisan caretaker government during the elections, the BNP held a rally at Naya Paltan on Oct 28. Its long-time ally Jamaat-e-Islam also called for a rally in Motijheel. Meanwhile, the ruling Awami League held a counter-rally on the same day at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque premises.

Tensions escalated as the three major political groups held events simultaneously. Despite failing to secure police permission, Jamaat-e-Islami held a rally in Arambagh. Violent clashes erupted in Kakrail during the BNP's rally in Paltan as the police cracked down on party activists.

BNP supporters subsequently set fire to vehicles and vandalized structures in different parts of the city, and initiated a series of hartals and blockades in protest. Over 100 vehicles and structures were burnt down during these programmes.

The vehicles set ablaze in the last 24 days include at least 118 buses, along with 26 trucks, 13 covered vans, eight motorcycles, two cars, three microbuses, three autorickshaws, two trains, a fire service vehicle, a police vehicle, an ambulance, and the political offices of the BNP and Awami League.

In Dhaka city, Mirpur witnessed the highest number of vehicle arsons.

As many as 341 firefighting units and 1,888 personnel were deployed in response to the arson attacks.