13 vehicles torched across Bangladesh during latest BNP blockade: fire service

Acts of arson were reported in Dhaka, Gazipur, Khagrachhari, Rajshahi and Noakhali, according to the authorities

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 9 Nov 2023, 06:06 AM
Updated : 9 Nov 2023, 06:06 AM

As many as 13 vehicles have been set on fire during the latest 48-hour nationwide blockade called by the BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami as part of their anti-government campaign leading up to the national elections.

The incidents were reported in the 27 hours to 9 am on Thursday, according to Talha Bin Jasim, a Fire Service Control Room official.

In Dhaka, five vehicles were burnt in Hazaribagh, Tantibazar, Kakoli, Mirpur and Dhanmondi. Another three vehicles were set ablaze in Gazipur, one in Khagrachhari, one in Rajshahi's Shibganj, two in Barishal's Gournadi, and one in Noakhali.

The torched vehicles include seven buses, four covered vans, and two trucks.

The political temperature in Bangladesh has been rising in recent weeks as the BNP, the country's largest opposition group, continues to press ahead with its campaign to replace the Awami League government with a non-partisan one ahead of the election.

As part of its campaign, the BNP organised a mass rally at Dhaka's Naya Paltan on Oct 28. But the event was marred by deadly clashes with the police, leading the opposition group to declare a hartal for Oct 29.

They subsequently enforced a nationwide blockade from Oct 31 to Nov 2, with a one-day break. At the end of the shutdown, another 48-hour blockade was announced for Nov 5 and Nov 6.

The BNP's call for a blockade garnered support from like-minded parties, and Jamaat-e-Islami, a long-time ally of the party, initiated a similar programme separately.

The parties are currently enforcing another 48-hour blockade, which will end at 6 am on Friday.

Daily reports of vehicles being set on fire have marked the strike and blockade programmes, leading to property damage and loss of lives.