Reality VS BNP’s Denial: A series of chilling accounts of those caught red handed during arson attacks in Bangladesh


Published on November 25, 2023
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A series of chilling accounts of those caught red-handed during arson attacks, let alone video footages of gruesome attacks, exposed BNP’s official cover-up of party leaders and activists’ involvement in countrywide torching of buses, trucks and trains, alongside street violence under the pretext of ongoing spate of blockade and hartals.

The futile image-building exercise by BNP leaders, coupled with a persistent denial on a spree of arson attacks, suffered a blow, thanks to wanton evidence unearthed by media outlets and video footage that showed how leaders and activists of BNP and different associate bodies are caught while performing the act.

The party leaders lured party cadres with money and promises of offering influential party ranks, even making lawmakers in exchange for the successful completion of arson attacks. Even activists filmed the video of torching buses and forwarded those to senior party leaders on WhatsApp. For payment, leaders of different associate bodies found mobile banking a safe modal.

Moreover, BNP leaders reportedly hired downtrodden people including rickshaw pullers and professional bomb makers with a singular objective to foment street violence, according to media reports.

Let’s take a look at some video footage that captured moments of arson attacks, alongside identities of those caught right after carrying out arson involvement of leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies in torching buses and attacking law enforcers.

Media Reports Exposed BNP Peoples’ Direct Involvement in Arson Violence

Having his face covered with a mask, Shamim Mahmud, joint convener of BNP’s student front Chhatra Dal’s Dhaka city south unit can be seen charging crude bombs targeting law enforcers on October 28. Two days earlier Shamim was provided with a bag full of bombs. From the bag, Shamim can be seen getting cocktails and throwing those crude bombs at the police, according to video footage.


On October 28, Amirul Islam Parvez was beaten to death reportedly by BNP men in the Fakirapool area. Within days, the identities of some of the attackers came to light analyzing video footage.  Based on video footage, Shamim Reza, Convener of Palashbari Municipality unit of Swecchasebak Dal [BNP’s Volunteer Wing] in Gaibandha district, was arrested from Gaibandha, and Md. Sultan was arrested from Demra in the capital.

The duo later revealed Amanullah Aman, joint secretary of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal, was the mastermind of the attack. As Aman led the attack on police, constable Amirul suffered head injuries when being hit by brick chunks and he fell to the road. In another turn, the attackers then beat up the injured constable lying on the road and also hit him with sharp weapons

On October 28, at 4:45 pm, a Balaka Paribahan bus plying over the Malibagh flyover came under an arson attack. Flanked by a band of six cadres, Robiul Islam Nayan, member secretary of Dhaka South Juba Dal unit, can be seen encircling the bus. Wearing a press vest, Nayan sneaked onto the bus, set fire, got down and marched past the bus in flames.


On October 28, Md Oli, an activist of BNP’s volunteer front’s Kushtia unit and his leader Jakir Hossain, a joint general secretary of BNP’s Kushtia unit can be seen leading a crowd vandalizing the residence of the Chief Justice. Following the attack Oli was offered biriyani and cash by Jakir. Ahead of October 28, BNP’s Kustia unit president, former lawmaker Mehedi Rumi, and general secretary Sohorab Hossain, another former BNP lawmaker, asked Oli to travel to Dhaka.


On October 31, Shafiqul Islam Sohel, who is the president of Salimpur Ward-6 unit of Jubo Dal, BNP’s youth front, in Sitakunda upazila of Chattogram was arrested while a one-shooter gun and five rounds of bullets recovered from his possession.


On November 1, right in front of the capital’s Mughdapara Ideal College, a bus of Midline Paribahan, was set on fire. Locals captured one of the arsonists Al Amin. Later Amin revealed he was instructed by a BNP leader Mizanur Rahman. Led by Mizanur, two other activists reportedly set another bus on fire but Mizanur was arrested from Gazipur.

After Mizan was rounded up he revealed Amir Hossain Rocky, joint convener of the BNP student front Sutrapur unit, was the chief architect, who formed separate groups and funded them as a reward for burning buses. For each arson attack, Rocky promised them to pay BDT 7,000 and the transaction would take place using mobile banking.  At Rocky’s instruction, two buses were torched in the capital by separate groups on November 5 but two arsonists were caught red-handed. Acting on information later Rocky was arrested.

On November 1, a group of BNP’s student front leaders took to the street and started picketing in front of Cummila Sadar South Central Medical College Hospital, located on Dhaka Chittagong highway. Two picketers—one from the road near the medical college hospital while the other from Chauddagram Upazila—were caught red-handed. On the same day, another group attacked vehicles in the Madabpur area under Bramhanpara upazila on the Cumilla- Sylhet highway. There are local unit student front leaders—Md. Ashikur Rahman, Mojammel Akhand Tanim and Rahamatullah—were caught while picketing.


On November 1, Towhidul Islam, a student front leader of the Chittagong unit, was caught after he exploded a crude bomb in the marching road area of Kadamtali and tried to vandalise vehicles around 12:30 pm.


On November 18, Mohammad Shaheb Hawladar, president of Narayanganj College unit Chhatra Dal was detained along with a bottle of petrol and 20 tyres in Siddhirganj


Lured by BNP central leaders' pledge for money and key party rank, four local supporters of BNP’s youth front, Alamin, Chad Miah, Sagor and Khorshed torched a bus in the Kalshi area in the capital, chanting slogans in support of BNP Jamaat enforced blockade. Video footage reveals that the four were part of a group that set the bus on fire and cheered up as fire engulfed the bus on November 18.

At around 9:15 a.m., Mamun Mazumdar, assistant organising secretary of the Chhatra Dal’s central committee, torched a bus of “Projapoti Paribahan” in Abdullahpur and caught red-handed.

Two activists of BNP’s student front were caught with petrol bombs while trying to set fire to vehicles in Nayanranganj, according to media reports. Around 7 am two members of the party’s student front — Apu Miah and Faisal Ahmed — were caught with petrol bombs from a highway that connects Narayanganj to Narsingdi.


On November 20, two activists of BNP’s student front were nabbed as the duo took out preparation for an act of sabotage at the AGB colony in the capital’s Motijhil area.


Promised with influential party rank from central leaders, all four activists of BNP’s volunteer front-- Md Hafizur Rahman, Shahidul Islam and Md. Shamim— boarded a double-decker bus in Mirpur 10 and set fire to the bus around 10:00 pm. They were caught while escaping.


On November 19, in Chittagong at night, BNP’s 27 ward unit organizing Secretary Mizanur Rahman Mostafa and member Md. Moinuddin attempted to set a bus on fire but was caught with flammable substances.


In Satkhira’s Debhata upazila, a band of activists of Chhatra Shibir, a student in front of Jamaat-e-Islami, brought out a sudden procession in the evening. From the procession, they attempted to vandalise vehicles. Amid public intervention, the activists fled while one Ashik, who hailed from Ghona village, was detained.

On November 17, at around 8:30 a.m. in front of Paban’s Prime Medical College, ten leaders and activists of BNP’s farmer front gathered and reportedly got involved in hatching subversive activities. Acting on a tip-off, police rushed in and arrested them to avert sabotage.


Transport workers foiled an arson attack as they detained Jamal Hossain, joint secretary of Dhaka College unit of BNP’s student front after he attempted to torch a bus parked in Phulbariah depot at around 9:00 pm on November 5. A stash of gunpowder and petrol was recovered from his possession.

Mamun Majumder, on November 13, assistant organizing secretary of the central committee of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal (JCD) was arrested for his involvement in the act of setting a Mirpur bound passenger bus on fire in front of Market Polwel near Abdullahpur bus stand in Uttara.

Hired by a top BNP leader, Mamum, a middle-aged rickshaw puller, alongside another boarded one Uttara bound bus.  As the passenger bus, Prajapati Paribahan, reached Asad-gate, the duo rose from their seats, brought out a bottle of petrol, poured the substance and set the bus on fire.