69,000 members of Bangladesh opposition accused in 70 cases in Gaibandha


Police have filed 70 cases against the political leadership and workers of BNP and Bangladesh Jamat-e-Islami in Gaibandha district in light of the recent strike-blockade related violence. Almost 69 thousand people have been implicated in the various cases. Thousands of inhabitants have left their houses for fear of getting arrested. Among them are servicemen, businessmen and fishermen among other professionals. Family members of those in danger of getting arrested are passing their days under constant fear.

According to sources, after the announcement of the death sentence of Delwar Hossain Sayeedi in 2013, many of the areas in Rangpur such as Mithapukur , Pirgachha , Gaibandha , Sundarganj , Sadullapur and Palashbari went under the control of the Jamaat and Shibir activists. Thousands of supporters of Sayeedi came out on the streets to protest the verdict. Violent clashes occurred when Awami League men, along with police, obstructed the protests and attacked Sayeedi supporters in Mithapukur, Rangpur. In the ensuing violence, at least 3 people were killed, along with 4 policemen. Several institutions were set on fire, including police stations and outposts along with more than 200 hundred homes, businesses and a temple. At least 33 cases were filed in light of the killing of the 4 policemen. The cases contained the names of 93 accused alongside an unnamed number of people, which numbered more than 5 thousand accused.

Meanwhile, allegations have arisen that ruling party people have become engaged in the business of offering immunity in return for money to persons involved in the cases. Sources say that the local ruling party leaders have been providing ‘certificates’ to those able to purchase them. It costs about 23-50 thousand taka to get such a ‘certificate of protection’. Due to such instances, many of the accused have been excluded from the charge sheets in the various cases. Many allegations have arisen against the police and the local Awami League leaders in this regard, in light of the fact that innocents have been threatened to pay up or become enlisted as accused in such cases. Many of those who have been unable to take the AL certificate by paying up the extortion money have been added to the list of those falsely accused in the cases. As a result, in order to avoid arrest and harassment from the police, those sued have had to flee from their houses and shut down business interests, leading to the creation of a tense situation in the district of Gaibandha.

According to locals themselves, the suffering of general people due to harassment and political victimization in the said area has reached intolerable levels.

Besides the above, 6 cases were filed and 600 accused in Gaibandha Sadar upazila, 2 cases were filed and 600 people accused in Sadullapur , 22 cases were filed and 20 thousand were accused in Palashbari, 6 cases were filed and 5 thousand were accused in Sundarganj while 1 case was filed and 15 were accused in Saghata. Summing up the above statistics, it has been observed that about 59 thousand 200 people supportive of the opposition Jamaat-e-Islami and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) have been accused in 70 cases. According to sources, almost 700 people have been shown arrested so far in the above cases.

Source: Dhakar News