Political crisis 2015 – Analysis of deaths

A political crisis had been brewing in Bangladesh for quite some time as the anniversary of the 5 January 2014 Bangladesh election loomed. It came to a head when on 3 January, 2015 police prevented Khaleda Zia, the leader of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party, from leaving her Gulshan office and the police then subsequently refused to give permission to allow the party to organize a rally it has planned on 5 January 2015. Khaleda Zia then announced a non-stop ‘blockade’ of the country, and this resulted in the arrest of a number of senior BNP leadersincluding almost immediately Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, the party’s acting secretary general on the 6 January.

Political violence is rarely absent in Bangladesh – but these events have triggered a particular spate of violence around the country. Perhaps there was a time in Bangladesh when calls for blockades or hartals would have popular support, and people would voluntarily stop commuting – but now in order for this kind of political action to have any chance of widespread success, the party calling the blockade/hartal must find a way to scare the public from using public transport, and that requires forceful intervention, including the setting fire to vehicles.

It is therefore not surprising that a call for a blockade these days generally results in violence. Opposition activists/supporters/hired hands will picket a road, they may set fire to a vehicle, and police will try and stop them. Members of the public are injured or killed from the burning of vehicles. Opposition pickets are killed when the police shoot at  the pickets, either in self defense or recklessly. Opposition activists are also killed in suspicious circumstances

Below is a list of 119 people reported in newspapers (as of 24 February) to have died since 5 January in the political violence. For every death, of course there are many injured, some of them very seriously.

This list should not be taken as gospel – an incident may be reported as linked to political violence, when there may in fact be other reasons for it, and in a number of these cases set out below, there are conflicting accounts of what happened. In addition, the list leaves out eleven deaths at the hands of the police which do not appear to be linked to the political conflict, involving alleged robbers etc, though they may well be connected. You will find different newspapers have slightly different numbers (for example, New Age does not count two deaths – nos 8 and 27, in their count). However, the list has attempted to be comprehensive.

The list assigns responsibility either through what witnesses/police are reported in the newspapers to have said to reporters, or though the assumption that an arson attack on a vehicle will have been done by opposition picketers, and a killing of opposition activists will have been done by law enforcement authorities or by government party alliance activists. In some individuals cases, it may be found later that these are not correct assumptions and it is possible (since some government party individuals have been arrested making bombs) that not all the vehicle bombings have been done by opposition activists or those they control. It should be noted that killings by police can be lawful if proportionate force was used in the particular circumstances at that time, and the Bangladesh law enforcement authorities always do claim that any deaths of individuals in their custody or as a result of their shooting were lawfully done.
61 of them are members of the public who have died as a consequence of direct action by apparent opposition activists, most of them burnt to death. (nos: 5, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 29, 33, 34, 35, 36, 38, 41, 42, 43, 46, 47, 49, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 62, 63, 64, 65, 69, 70, 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 81, 82, 83, 85, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 93, 97, 101, 108, 109, 112). To read more about the issue of assigning criminal responsibility for these deaths, click here.  37 of them are opposition activists or pickets who have been killed or died whilst in the custody of law enforcement bodies, or during alleged ‘shoot-outs’, or during protests or in incidents where it has been alleged law enforcement authorities are responsible (nos: 1, 4, 6, 7, 28, 31, 32, 40, 44, 45, 48, 50, 60, 61, 66, 67, 71, 77, 78, 80, 84, 90, 94, 95, 96, 98, 99, 100, 102, 103, 104, 105, 110, 111, 116, 117, 118). To read more about these deaths, click here5 of them are opposition activists apparently killed by govt supporting activists: (nos 2, 3, 27, 30, 106) – 5 of them are opposition picketers who died through their own actions in making bombs/picketing (no. 12, 23, 37, 79, 107) – 5 of them are government party activists killed apparently by opposition activists (nos 8, 9, 22, 92, 119) – in 6 of them the circumstances and the political identifies are unclear (no 11, 39, 68, 113, 114, 115)
The category ‘Political identity/occupation’ of the person distinguishes those was are involved in politics and those who are general members of the public.

Date of death Deceased name Political Identity/

occupation

Location Who Resp? How
1 5 Jan

(Bdnews)

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

Abdul Majid, Uddin, 45 (also referred to as Mojiruddin) BNP Rajshai Police Shot in clash
2 5 Jan

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Rakib Hossain, 20 BNP student wing Natore AL Shot dead in protest
3 5 Jan

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Raihan Hossain Rana, 20 BNP student wing Natore AL Shot dead in protest
4 5 Jan

(Bdnews)

(New Age)

Jamshed Ali, 40 BNP Chapainawaganj Police Shot in clash
5 6 Jan

(Daily Star)

Alok Chakrabarty, 30 CNG driver Chandpur Opposition picket Vehicle rammed
6 7 Jan

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Md Rubel, 28, BNP student wing Noakhali Police Shot by Police
7 7 Jan

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Md Mohsin, 29 BNP student wing Noakhali Police Shot by Police
8 8 Jan

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Mohammad Yusuf, 35 AL Youth Front Laxmipur Allegedly BNP activists Beaten to death
9 9 Jan

(New Age)

Mukul Ali, 44 AL Chapainawaganj Allegedly BNP activists Beaten to death
10 10 jan (injury on 9th

(New Age)

Altaf Hossain, 45 Head master Gaibandha Opposition picket Pickets attack vehicle
11 10 Jan

(Tribune)

(New Age)

Imadul Islam Raju Truck Driver Bogra Unclear Head injury
12 11 Jan

(New Age)

Shariful Islam Sharif, 25 Jamaat student wing Sylhet Opposition picket Picketer, run over
13 11 Jan (injury on 6 Jan)

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Murad Ali Mollah, 20 Bus helper Jessore Opposition picket Bus burnt
14 12 Jan (injury on 7 Jan)

(New Age)

Atikur Rahman Truck helper Noakhali Opposition picket Hit by bricks
15 12 Jan

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Pervez, 25 Passenger Dhaka-Rangpur highway in Gaibandha Opposition picket Run over, running to escape petrol bomb
16 13 Jan

(Daily Star)

(Fin Express)

(New Age)

Enam Hossain, 40 Shopkeep travelling on a truck Chittagong Opposition activists Truck crashed, after pickets threw bomb
17 13 Jan

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Jamir Uddin, 32 Auto-rickshaw driver Noakhali Opposition picket Hit by Bricks
18 14 Jan

(New Age)

Azirunnesa, Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
19 14 Jan

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

Rahima Khatun, 65 Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
20 14 Jan

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

Rahim Badshah, 45 Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
21 14 Jan

(New Age)

Jasmine Aktar (35) Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
22 14 Jan (injury on 13th)

(Tribune)

Belal Hossain, 35 AL Youth front Feni Opposition activists Beaten to death
23 14 Jan

(Fin Express)

Jubayer Jamaat student wing Chittagong Opposition picket Whilst picketing, run over
24 15 Jan (injury on 14th

(Daily Star)

(Bdnews)

Tasiran Begum, 45 Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
25 15 Jan

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

TofazzalHossain, 18, Bus helper Gazipur Opposition picket Bus set on fire
26 15 Jan (injury on 9 Jan)

(Fin Express)

(Tribune)

Abul Kalam Howlader, 26 Private Car driver Dhaka Opposition picket Petrol bomb hurled at parked car
27 16 Jan

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

(Prothom alo)

Morshed Alam Parvez, 24, BNP student wing Noakhali Govt activists Shot to death
28 16 Jan

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

(Prothom Alo)

Motiur Rahman, 22 BNP student wing Chapainawabganj RAB RAB: alleged firefight.

JCD: Murdered

29 18 Jan

(New Age)

Sohag Biswas 18 Drivers assistant Barisal Opposition picket Burnt from petrol bomb
30 18 Jan

(Prothom Alo)

Sirajul Islam, 42 BNP, Union VP Chuadanga Govt activists? Hacked to death
31 19 Jan

(Dhaka Tribune)

Imrul Qayes Jamaat Dhaka Police Police: ‘In shoot out’
32 20 Jan

(Daily Star)

Nuruzzaman Jonny BNP student leader Dhaka Police Police: in ‘Shoot out’
33 20 Jan (injury on 14 Jan)

(New Age)

Monwara Begum Passenger Rangpur Opposition picket Bus set alight
34 20 Jan

(New Age)

Aslam, 35 Member of public Rajshai Opposition picket Hit by vehicle avoiding pickets
35 22 Jan

(New Age)

Shahjahan Mia, 30 Auto-rickshaw driver Sylhet Opposition picket Car lost control after petrol bombing
36 22 Jan (injury on 14 Jan)

(New Age)

(Bdnews)

(Dhaka Trib)

Sanjid Islam Ovi, 19 Student Dhaka Opposition picket Petrol bomb thrown
37 22 Jan

(Bdnews)

(Dhaka Trib)

Mahbubur Rahman Bappi BNP student leader Dhaka Opposition picket Whilst making bombs
38 23 Jan (injury on 22 Jan)

(New Age)

(bdnews)

Abdur Rahim Morol, Truck helper/passenger Dhaka (incident in Bogra) Opposition picket Petrol bomb thrown
39 23 Jan (injury on 13 Jan)

(New Age)

(Bdnews)

Jakir Hossain, 13 Member of public Savar Unclear Unclear
40 23 Jan

(Daily Star)

Solaiman Uddin Jisan, 32 BNP student leader Comilla RAB ‘Gunfight with Rab’/’Extra-judicial killing
41 26 Jan (injury on 21 Jan)

(New Age)

(Daily Star)

Abdul Malek, 50 Truck Passenger Rangpur Opposition activist Burnt from petrol bomb
42 27 Jan (injury on 20 Jan)

(Daily Star)

Bakul Deb Nath Truck driver Sylhet Opposition picket Burnt from petrol bomb
43 27 Jan (injury on 24 Jan)

(New Age)

Abdur Rashid Truck helper Rangpur Opposition picket Set fire to truck
44 27 Kan

(Daily Star)

Asadullah Tuhin Jamaat Student wing Chapainawaganj RAB Rab: Run over

Family: killed

45 28 Jan

(Daily Star)

Nurul Islam Jamaat Student leader Rajshai RAB RAB: ‘Shootout’
46 29 Jan

(Tribune)

(Daily Star)

Motaleb Truck Helper Chandpur Opposition picket Truck crashed after petrol bombing
47 30 Jan

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Mohammad Sumon, 36 Bus driver Laxmipur Opposition picket Bus lost control after petrol bombing
48 30 Jan

(Daily Star)

Ariful Islam Mukul BNP Student Dhaka Police (but some uncertainty) Pol: Body found shot

Family; Picked up by police

49 31 Jan

(New Age)

Ganesh Chandra Das CNG passenger Sirajganj Opposition picket CNG lost

control after petrol bombing

50 31 Jan

(Daily Star)

Emdad Ullah Jamaat Student activist Dhaka Police ‘Shoot-out’
51 1, Feb (injury on 23 Jan)

(Daily Star)

Nur-e Alam, 60 Bus passenger Dhaka Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
52 3 Feb (injury on 2 Jan)

(New Age)

Kamal Hossain Pick up van driver Laxmipur Opposition picket Petrol bomb
53 3 Feb

(New Age)

Nuruzzaman Paplu Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
54 3 Feb

(New Age)

Md Wasim Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
55 3 Feb

(New Age)

Mysha Nayma Tasnim, 16 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
56 3 Feb

(New Age)

Shantu, 13 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
57 3 Feb

(New Age)

Asma Begum, 35 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
58 3 Feb

(New Age)

Abu Taher, 35 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
59 3 Feb

(New Age)

Mohammad Yusuf, 50 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
60 3 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Liton Ali, 22 BNP student activist Jessore Police Police: run over by truck

Family: Picked up and killed

61 3 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Yusuf Miah, 25 BNP student activist Jessore Police Police: run over by truck

Family: Picked up and killed

62 3 Feb

(New Age)

Nur Hossain Shikdur, 31 Truck driver Barisal Opposition picket Truck accident after petrol bombed
63 3 Feb

(New Age)

Zafar Bari, 26 Truck helper Barisal Opposition picket Truck accident after petrol bombed
64 3 Feb

(Tribune)

Mamun Truck helper Kishoreganj Opposition picket Petrol bomb
65 4 Feb (injury on 3 Feb)

(Daily Star)

Rashedul Islam, 25 Bus passenger Comilla Opposition picket Bus petrol bombed
66 4 Feb

(New Age)

Shakhawat Hossain Rahat (21) No political identify Dhaka RAB RAB: shot when under attack
67 4 Feb

(New Age)

Mujahidul Islam Jihad (33) No political identity Dhaka RAB RAB: shot when under attack
68 4 Feb

(New Age)

GM Nahid Pro-BNP family Dhaka Unclear Bullet ridden body found
69 5 Feb                 

(Daily Star)

Polash Hossain Truck driver Bogra Opposition picket Truck petrol bombed
70 5 Feb

(Daily Star)

Shahidul Islam Truck Passenger Bogra Opposition picket Truck petrol bombed
71 5 Feb

(Daily Star)

Monir Hossain Pro-BNP Dhaka Police Pol: Killed when firebombing
72 5 Feb Unidentified Transport Rajshai Opposition picket Petrol bomb
73 5 Feb (injury on 17 Jan)

(Tribune)

Shamim Mia Police Dhaka Opposition picket Petrol bomb
74 6 Feb

(New Age)

Syed Ali, 42 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
75 6 Feb

(New Age)

Shilpi Rani, 10 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
76 6 Feb

(New Age)

Sumon Miah, 22 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
77 6 Feb

(Daily Star)

Shahidul Islam, 35 Jamaat Jessore Police Pol: ‘Gunfight’
78 6 Feb

(Daily Star)

Shahbuddin Ripon Jamaat, student Rajshahi Police Pol: ‘Shootout’
79 6 Feb

(Daily Star)

Md Mongol Pramanik alias Mongol, ‘Bomb maker’ Pabna Himself Making bombs
80 6 Feb

(Daily Star)

Shahbuddin Patwari Jamaat student Comilla Police Pol: ‘cross fire
81 7 Feb

(Daily Star)

Ijadul Islam, 35 Truck driver Barisal Opposition picket Petrol bomb
82 7 Feb

(Daily Star)

Motaleb Sheikh, 65 Passenger Barisal Opposition picket Petrol bomb
83 7 Feb

(Daily Star)

Munna Mia, 45 Truck helper Barisal Opposition picket Petrol bomb
84 7 Feb

(Daily Star)

Bacchu ‘Jamaat student’? Pirojpur Police Pol: Cross fire
85 7 Feb (inj on 6th )

(Daily Star)

Sujan, 12 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
86 7 Feb (inj on 6th )

(Daily Star)

Sonavan Begum, 35 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
87 7 Feb (inj on 6th ) Saju Miah, 35 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
88 7 Feb (inj on 6th )

(Daily Star)

Sona Bhan 40 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
89 8 Feb (inj on 7 Feb)

(Tribune)

Asif, 30 Truck helper Bogra Opposition picket Petrol bomb
90 8 Feb

(Tribune)

Shopon Mia alias Kala Shopon, 37 BNP, youth Jessore Police Shoot out
91 8 Feb (inj on 6th )

(Tribune)

Abul Kalam Azad, 40 Passenger Gaibandha Opposition picket Petrol bomb
92 8 Feb

(Tribune)

Md Babul Mia 52, AL leader Noakhali Unknown Stabbed to death
93 8 Feb (inj on 7 Feb)

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Hasib Hossain Truck helper Bogra Opposition picket Petrol bomb
94 8 Feb

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Raju Ahmed, 35 Alleged criminal Jessore Police ‘Shoot out’
95 8 Feb

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Kala Swapan, 27 BNP Youth Comilla Police ‘Shoot out’
96 8 Feb

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Jasim Uddin, 26 Jamaat Dhaka Police ‘Shoot out’
97 9 Feb

(Tribune)

Shahidul Islam, 38 Truck driver Rajshai Opposition picket Petrol bomb
98 14 Feb

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Arif, 22 Alleged Picket Chittagong Police ‘Shoot out’
99 15 Feb (inj on 11 Feb)

(Daily Star)

Motiar Rahman Jamaat Dinajpur Police ‘shoot out’
100 15 Feb

(Daily Star)

Moshiur Rahman, 40 BNP Magura Police shoot out’
101 17 Feb

(Tribune)

Edris, 20, Passenger Chittagong Opposition picket Petrol bomb
102 17 Feb

(Daily Star)

(Tribune)

Mostafa Manjil, 32 Jamaat Gaibandha RAB ‘Shoot out’
103 17 Feb

(Tribune)

Abu Syed, 48 Jamaat Jessore Police Gunfight
104 17 Feb

(Tribune)

Bojlur Rahman, 45. Jamaat Jessore Police Gunfight
105 18 Feb

(Daily Star)

Saidur Rahman Sayeed, 34 BNP Jessore Police ‘Shoot out’
106 18 Feb

(Tribune)

Bazlur Rahman Bablu BNP Laxmipur Unclear
107 19 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Jasim Uddin, 28 ‘Bomb maker’, unclear polit identity Dhaka Own activity While making bomb
108 19 Feb (inj on 15 Feb)

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Hossain Miah, 50 Worker Dhaka Opposition picket Petrol bomb
109 20 Feb (inj on 12 Feb)

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Jahid Ahmed, 50 Trucker Narshingdi Opposition picket Petrol bomb
110 21 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Kabir Mollah BNP youth front Barisal Police ‘Shootout’
111 21 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Tipu Hawlader BNP Student Barisal Police ‘Shootout’
112 22 Feb (inj on 12 Feb)

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Bappi Bus helper Dhaka Opposition picket Petrol bomb
113 22 Feb

(Tribune)

Robin, 14 Dhaka Police/lynching Shot dead
114 22 Feb

(Tribune)

Sumon Robi Das, 17 Dhaka Police/lynching Shot dead
115 22 Feb

(Tribune)

Jewel,19 Dhaka Police/lynching Shot dead
116 23 Feb

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Golam Azam Palas, Son of BNP activist Jhenidah Police Family claim picked up earlier by police
117 23 Feb

(New Age)

(Tribune)

Dulal Biswas (23) BNP activist Jhenidah Police Family claim picked up earlier by police
118 23 Feb

(Daily Star)

(New Age)

Abdul Wadud Bapary BNP student wing Dhaka Police Pol: ‘Shoothout’

Family: ‘Murder’

119 23 Feb

(Tribune)

Mosharraf Hossain, 58, Awami League Jessore ‘Miscreants’ Shot dead

 

 

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