Publication date : 1 November 2017
2 buses torched as Khaleda motorcade crosses Feni
Media: The Independent
Original URL: 2 buses torched as Khaleda motorcade crosses Feni
E-paper URL: 2 buses torched as Khaleda motorcade crosses Feni
Two buses were torched at Mahipal in Feni on Dhaka-Chittagong highway while the convoy of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia was passing through the area on her way to Dhaka yesterday, concluding her four-day tour of Cox’s Bazar to visit Rohingyas. No harm was, however, reported to the BNP chairperson’s convoy in the arson attack launched by unidentified miscreants near Mahipal patrol pump around 4:25pm, shortly after the convoy drove past the area, police and witnesses said.
The attack, which the BNP claimed, was launched targeting the Khaleda motorcade was the second such incident in four days as it came under attack near the same place on Sunday when it was heading towards the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar.
The attack was carried out targeting the chairperson’s car but the miscreants missed it, said, chairperson’s media wing officer.
Police have arrested four people, including two drivers of the burnt buses — Abdul Malek and Abdur Rashid – in connection with the arson attack.
According to witnesses, unidentified miscreants hurled petrol bombs from unknown locations and fire suddenly broke out inside the two buses which were plying the wrong lane.
There was no passenger on board the buses and their drivers managed to get down safely, they said.
Informed, fire fighters rushed to the spot and doused the flames.
The BNP chairperson, meanwhile, reached Dhaka around 8:20pm yesterday after wrapping up her four-day visit to Ukhiya Rohingya camps in Cox Bazar.
On their way to the Rohingya camps on Saturday, Khaleda’s motorcade came under attack at Mohammad Ali Bazar in Feni when
a good number of vehicles, including microbuses of some privately-owned TV channels, were damaged and several newsmen and leaders and activists of BNP accompanying Khaleda were beaten up.
Yesterday’s arson attack on the two buses drew blame game between the two major political parties of the country – ruling Awami League and BNP –like that over the Saturday’s attack.
The BNP chief’s media wing officer Shamsuddin Didar claimed that the arson attack was launched targeting the BNP chief’s motorcade, but the miscreants somehow missed the target for a short while.
In an apparent counter to the BNP claim, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader alleged that setting fire on buses is the old habit of BNP, and “BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has staged another drama on her way back from Cox’s Bazar in a bid to garner people’s sympathy”.
“As the BNP failed to make an issue with the previous drama, the party staged another one during her (Khaleda’s) way back from Cox’s Bazar. But it has become clear to all who set buses on fire and who launched attack on her motorcade,” said Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, while talking to reporters after exchanging views with the officials of BRTA in Rajshahi.
In a press briefing at Chittagong Circuit House earlier in the day, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir alleged that the government is spreading confusion over Saturday’s attack on Khaleda’s motorcade in Feni with an ill attempt to hide the fact.
“Our vehicles have been vandalised in the attack, journalists’ vehicles have been vandalised, journalists came under attack. You all know (reporters) who have launched the attack … who are these attackers; it has been published in the media,” he said.
“The ruling party has started spreading propaganda over it. They tried to spread propaganda against our Chittagong city unit president, but failed. We want to say you (AL) that by telling lie you are trying to make people confused, but they have clearly understood that Awami League is destroying the norms of democracy,” said the BNP secretary general.
He also slammed Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader’s remarks, saying “I hoped that he (Obaidul Quader) would at least condemn the attack and take necessary measures to find the attackers, but he is blaming BNP for attack on the BNP… we think such practice will create anarchy”.
At a programme in the capital, AL presidium member Mohammed Nasim described the recent attack on Khaleda motorcade as a drama staged by the party itself.
“BNP itself had arranged drama of attack on the motorcade of Khaleda. Investigation is underway into the drama and truth will be unearthed soon,” he told a discussion arranged marking the 100th anniversary of Russian Revolution and anniversary of Samyabadi Dal at the Institution of Engineers auditorium.