Is 1975-type massacre on cards in Bangladesh again?

  • IANS
  • World News
Is 1975-type massacre on cards in Bangladesh again?
Credit: © Reuters.

Dhaka, Oct 13 (IANS) After violent calls by Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and mobilisation of its armed cadre, a multi-pronged plan has been set in motion to oust the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from power in Bangladesh, intelligence officials said on Thursday.

They said that in last few months, several BNP leaders have publicly threatened to re-stage 1975-type massacre to oust the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina from power, showing that terrorism is a template used by the BNP.

They said that several top BNP leaders, including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, have frequently called on the party workers to hit the streets and grab power by force.

Hundreds of BNP cadres who were allegedly involved in arson attacks are evading arrest which also shows the nexus between acting BNP chairman Tarique Rahman and the militants.

From 2001 to 2006, Bangladesh witnessed attacks on its minority communities. “Unleashing BNP cadres on the streets to attack law enforcers or orchestrate grenade attack on shopping malls or staging attacks on Puja Pandals have again become the possible targets,” the intelligence officials said.

Described as a “symbol of violent politics” by former US Ambassador to Bangladesh, Tarique holds a reputation of nurturing close ties with militants.

In an interview to India Today on 23 February 2023, retired Deputy Director General of India’s Defence Intelligence Agency, Major General Gaganjit Singh said that a huge consignment of weapons -- 10 trucks full of arms -- was seized at Bangladesh’s Chittagong in April 2004. It was meant for the United Liberation Front of Asom and a few other rebel groups in India’s northeast to destablise Bangladesh.

Singh said that the arms supply was done through the alliance between the BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami.

Tarique’s another handpicked loyalist, Lutfuzzaman Babar, who had served as state Minister for Home between 2001 and 2006 is now facing trial for having links with militants.

Tarique has also exposed his support for the dreaded militant Bangla Bhai. “Lutfozzaman Babar never helped to control the militant outfits. In fact, he asked for all the police and administrative support in organising a vigilante militant group called JMB led by extremist Bangla Bhai in the northern districts,” the then IGP Nur Mohammad, said during an interview in June 2007.

Intelligence sources have said that another possible plan is to re-stage October 28 like arson on the streets in the country. In 2006, BNP-Jamaat workers, brandishing firearms and sticks, attacked Awami League (AL) activists on the streets of the capital, triggering deadly clashes which resulted in loss of several lives.

AL central leader Aminul Islam said that there is an emerging rift within the BNP with many leaders now in open rebellion against the party leadership.

“It is one of the reasons, the Tarique loyalists in BNP, have shifted focus on flaring-up the violence in the streets,” Islam said.

DC Media and Spokesperson of Dhaka Metropolitan Police Faruk Hussain told IANS, “We will surely do our job to ensure people find the city safe and will also thwart any attempt to derail the public safety.”

However, a year-long campaign by BNP to oust the government with their movement has clearly failed to garner public support.

--IANS

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