Bogra: Villagers in Fear Amidst Widespread Police Raids

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So far one and a half lakh (150,000) have been accused in 54 cases filed by the police in Bogra. The police are facing failure in capturing these named and unnamed offenders. On one hand, there is pressure from the higher officials to capture the accused and on the other hand their vain raids in men-free villages have trapped them in a tight corner.

The police are facing resistance from angry villagers when attempting to catch the accused and they are being hindered by insecurity. After capturing only 150 from the 150,000 accused, the police are losing control.

However, the Bogra administration is not sitting idle. Raids continue every night on villages. The men have left the villages for fear of mass arrest. Even then the police are conducting raids on houses, vandalising and abusing the women with obscenities. The women are passing their nights in fear of the police.

During the Jamaat called strike on 3rd of March, police fire killed 14 and injured more than two hundred. Three police stations were under attack that day from the angry heat of thousands of men and women. Five police outposts were vandalised and some government offices along with upazila parishad were set on fire.

From these incidences, police filed 54 cases at 10 stations, accusing one a half lakh people. Now there are accusations of police going on a rampage in village after village as they conduct raids to catch those they have filed cases against.

Since the cases have been filed, villages in Bogra have become man less; the men have fled due to the fear of mass arrest. In particular, in most villages within Bogra Sadar, Nandigram, Shajahanapura and Sibaganja upazila, only the elderly, women and children are residing at home during the night. Families are living an unpleasant existence. Many are unable to go to their place of work or business.

The Bogra Police Superintendent, Mozammel Hoque, denied the villagers’ complaints about nightly rampage and said that steps are being taken by the administration to reassure the terrified villagers. Police and administration are organising public assemblies and requesting people to return to the villages. The police guaranteed that ordinary people not involved with any violence will not be arrested.

Nandigram police OC Fasir Uddin claimed that no innocent people have been arrested to date. Those who have fled their homes are the criminals. The house raids are for this reason. According to him, the complaints against the police are not correct. Some people are making these claims to save themselves from the allegations.

The terrorised villagers are desperate to go back to their normal life and demanded an end to the raids, vandalism and mass arrests. They say that the Police should identify those involved in the incidents and then conduct raids to catch them.

Source: Daily Natun Barta