Hours are passing in Dhaka amid severe tension. The countrymen are in deep uncertainty since the opposition declared to hold a demonstration titled ‘March for Democracy’ in the capital on 29th December. The city dwellers anticipated government’s obstruction, as they had similar experience in the previous occasion of 12th March, the day of opposition’s grand rally. But the obstruction and its impact exceeded the previous records.
No opposition men could reach in the program venue till noon as the several thousands of polices is being deployed in the city streets. They allow none to come even in the adjacent area to the meeting spot. That definitely increased the sufferings of the general city residents but who cares for them.
A group of lawyers led by Bangladesh Bar council vice president, Advocate Khondokar Mahbub Hossen tried to come in the meeting spot of Nayapaltan of Dhaka. Police barred them by putting barricade in the main gate of the High court premise. The lawyers tried to break that barrier that erupted violence. Police hurled tear shell and threw hot water from the water cannon. The lawyers, men with a dignified profession became discolored with that water. Police dispersed them so that they can even not assemble at the court area. Minutes after, along with the police, ruling party cadres carried attacked on the lawyers. But this time, police remained silent and made no response to rescue the lawyers from that unexpected assault.
Some 100 yards away, I saw another picture of repression. Police put a barricade in front of the national press club. They did not allow anyone to enter or to come out from the press club. Hearing to the news, Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalist President, Ruhul Amin Gazi appeared in the scene and removed the barricade and entered into the press club, the head office of the journalists. He then started to address the agitated journalists. He was condemning the police inhuman and undemocratic role. But all on a sudden, again a group of ruling party thugs attacked the journalists. Police remained silent. Rather they joined the party cadres to subdue the protesting journalists. They lobbed tear shell while the protesting media men hurled bricks and stones targeting the attackers. The whole area turned into battle field instantly.
Unexpected, pathetic, yet it is true. The next incident is about the murder of an unfortunate student Mansur. He is a student of a private University and residing in Ashkona of the capital. Along with some of his friends and party associates, he came to Malibag of the city to join the March for Democracy. Police and ruling party cadres made an attack upon them. They took shelter inside a mosque. However police did not spare and opened fire against the gatherings indiscriminately. He was hit by several bullets but no one could pay him that attention as all were struggling to survive. His dead body was fallen down in a place of Malibag Chowdhury Para Bajar goli area. Later, a local resident named Shopon Mia found him and took him to Dhaka Medical College hospital. The duty doctor declared him dead on instant. The student, Mansur becomes the first victim of the ongoing tension and rivalry of the two major parties. Abu Saleh Mohammad Yahia, the central publicity secretary of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, claimed Mansur as their activist. He also claimed 15 other Shibir activists became bullet reddened and police arrested 10 activists from the spot.
Whoever Mansur is, he is the citizen of the country. He has the right to move, to gather and to assemble. Why does he become a victim of vindictive politics? Why the government posed such an unprecedented obstruction this time to foil opposition’s demonstration? Who will take the responsibility of killing a potential youth like Mansur? This is the question that you can hear everywhere in Bangladesh now.