Assailants have set ablaze a commuter train stationed at Tangail's Gharinda Railway Station amid a blockade of road, rail and river routes across the country by the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami.
Three carriages of the train were burnt in the incident that took place around 3 am on Thursday, said Gharinda Station Master Tariqul Islam.
Another train, the Panchagarh Express, was near the burning train at the time and its passengers quickly left the train in a panic. However, the express train was not damaged in the fire.
Mohammad Idrich, senior station officer of Tangail Fire Service and Civil Defence, said they were notified of the fire at around 3 am and rushed to the spot to bring the fire under control.
“The commuter train was stationed on the Tangail-Dhaka line. Two carriages near the engine of the train were completely gutted and one was partially damaged in the fire.”
Tariqul said that it is not yet clear who set fire to the train. Although there are CCTV cameras in the railway station, the compartments where the fire broke out were outside CCTV coverage.
The BNP and other like-minded political parties have been staging regular strikes and blockades since Oct 28, when a grand rally was disrupted following clashes with law enforcement in Dhaka. Their fifth round of a 48-hour blockade programme began on Wednesday morning and continued into Thursday. Incidents of arson targeting transport have been reported from various parts of the country every day.
Meanwhile, CEC Kazi Habibul Awal announced the schedule of the 12th parliamentary polls in an address to the nation on Sunday evening. The BNP and its alliance partners, engaged in a movement to press home its demand for the government's resignation and elections under a non-partisan administration, rejected the announcement. Several political parties have also declared strikes as part of their protests.