775Published on November 26, 2023
The Bangladesh Police has recorded a total of 376 arson and 310 vandalism incidents between 29 October and 19 November during the countrywide blockade and hartal programmes of opposition political parties.
Besides, at least six police officers were killed in the line of duty during the 29 October to 22 November period, the Bangladesh Police said in a press statement issued on Thursday (23 November).
According to the press statement, a total of 275 vehicles, 24 establishments and 11 others were vandalised, and 290 vehicles, 17 establishments and 69 others were set on fire during the political programmes.
During the opposition's political programmes, at least 24 sabotage incidents took place on the railways from 31 October to 22 November.
Three trains were set on fire at Kamalapur railway station, Tangail and Jamalpur. There have been incidents of stone pelting on six trains, including one in Dhaka Metropolis, two in Mymensingh, one in Gazipur, one in Netrakona and one in Naogaon.
Also, there have been nine incidents of setting railway lines on fire and three incidents of attempts to cut railway lines. Bottles full of petrol and diesel were thrown on a train in Pabna.
A sabotage was attempted by adding an additional 3 feet long 3 inches wide sheet above the railway line in Narayanganj.
In the meantime, police have caught at least 29 people red-handed while they were setting fire to vehicles in the Dhaka metropolitan areas between 28 October and 16 November. Around 17 more were caught red-handed in Cumilla between 28 October and 21 November.
"Many of those arrested have given confessional statements citing their involvement," said the press statement.
"The vandals purposefully wore jackets with 'PRESS' written on them to confuse the police, which is now obvious to the public.
"Bangladesh Police appeals to everyone to refrain from violent acts of vandalism and sabotage."
The Bangladesh Police announced that a reward of up to Tk20,000 will be given if the arsonists are handed over with appropriate evidence or if specific information is given to police in regards to vandals and arsonists. The identity of the informant will be kept confidential.
Meanwhile, the Fire Service and Civil Defence on Thursday said they received six incidents of arson during the latest phase of the blockade on 22 November and 23 November.