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At least 195 vehicles torched in 23 days

At least 195 vehicles torched in 23 days

Staff Correspondent

Mirpur section-10, a crucial point of the capital, was completely under vigilance of the law enforcers in uniforms and plainclothes on Monday, the second day of a 48-hour hartal enforced by BNP and Jamaat-e-Islami for a demand to restore the caretaker government system.

But, amid the tight security, suddenly, a BRTC double decker passenger bus was set on fire at the point at 2:35pm.

On information, two units of firefighters rushed to the spot and doused the fire within 11 minutes.

When contacted, Mohammad Mohsin, officer-in-charge (OC) of Mirpur Model Police Station, told the Daily Sun that somebody in the guise of a passenger set the bus on fire.

Like the bus, the firefighters doused the blaze of 195 vehicles, mostly buses, across the country during grand rally, strikes and blockades enforced by the BNP, Jamaat, and some other political parties from October 28 to November 20 (6:00pm), according to Fire Service and Civil Defence (FSCD).

Of the incidents, the firefighters doused the fire to 19 vehicles, including 10 buses and six trucks, in Dhaka, Rajshahi, Chattogram and Mymensingh divisions on Monday.

Law enforcers arrested a good number of activists of the BNP and Jamaat by claiming their involvement in the arson attacks while common people also captured some attackers and handed over to police since October 28.

Most of the incidents occurred in the capital. At least 95 vehicles were set on fire in the capital while 37 in Dhaka division, 22 in Chattogram, 24 in Rajshahi and seven in Barishal.

The vehicles were mostly burnt from evening to morning-- 6:00pm to 6:00am, as per the information of the FSCD, raising a question of vigilant and patrolling of the law enforcers during the time.

Some parked vehicles were torched in front of police stations, raising also a question of dutifulness of the members of the stations.

SM Kamruzzaman, director (Admin) of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), told the Daily Sun that miscreants torched their seven buses and vandalised 12 others, incurring loss of about Tk two crore.

Of the torched buses, two were completely burnt, losing Tk one crore while the loss from the rest partly torched and vandalised buses were estimated at about Tk one more crore.

Contacted, Dr Khandaker Mohid Uddin, additional commissioner (Crime and Operations) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), told the Daily Sun that the members of the mega city police unit foiled a big number of attempts to set the vehicles on the fire.

But they failed to save the buses which were torched by the miscreants in the guise of passengers, he said.

“We are trying our best, but it is not only our duty to check the miscreants. All the agencies and common people should work in a united way,” he said, adding that police arrested a number of arson attackers at red handed and came to know about many others.

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