Special correspondence: Many have the question as to why the repeated fire attacks and petrol bombings strike Bihongo bus company. This question has already inflicted ambiguity among many but as the government shows no headache regarding the matter, the frequent incidents seem preplanned. Many suspect that such occurrences are nothing but entrapping the opposition parties. Moreover, such doubts are reinforced due to the immediate huge coverage on print and electronic media after the attacks.
On November 28 2013 in the evening, thugs put fire on a Bihongo bus at the opposite lane of Shahbag Shishupark in Dhaka . As a result of such activity, at least twenty passengers were injured with burns. In addition, the rest of the passengers panicked and tried to rush out of the bus with the hope to save their lives and suffered serious injury. 18 among the injured ones were taken to the burn unit of Dhaka Medical where three of them died.
Maruf Hossain Sarder who is the deputy commissioner of Ramna thana informed that the miscreants hurled a petrol bomb right at the passenger filled Bihongo Paribohon bus heading for Pallabi from Gulistan, the opposite lane of Shahbag shishu Park. The bus burnt down at once blazing at least 18 people. The additional commissioner of Ramna zone, Shibly Roman alleged that the attack was preplanned. However, at the end no attempt from the police side has been seen to reveal the plotters of this planned activity.
Two days after the incident, on first December 2013 noon, a bus of Bihongo Paribohon caught fire which was heading for Mirpur from Adalot Para of Old Dhaka. The driver of the bus, Chanchal, told that a youth poured petrol inside the bus and started the fire while passengers were boarding it. The fire engulfed two of the seats of the bus and before causing more damage the bystanders put out the fire. A suspect named Hridoy Khan has been arrested for this by Kotwali Thana’s police but progress is yet to be seen as Hridoy’s deposition was not taken by the police. Thus the incident went under the sand.
After only a day of the incident another passenger-filled bus of Bihongo Paribohon went ablaze at the adjacent road of Eidgah Math in Pallabi as seen by many. Recently NewAge editor, Nurul Kabir, raised question regarding the issue. While talking at a talk show aired by a private channel Nurul Kabir said the bus at Shahbag which was burned down was a bus of Bihongo Poribohon. Previously, another bus caught fire which belonged to the identical Bihongo Paribohon and in the next day one more bus of the same company was attacked as well. He said that the government cannot avoid taking the liability regarding such repeated attack on Bihongo Paribohon whose owner and chairman is no one but the chairman of Shechchashebok League (the volunteer wing of Awami League). He believes that the government has no scope to escape liability and to blame the oppositions for such activity as the three consecutive attacks on Bihongo Paribohon speak for themselves. Nurul Kabir demanded its answer from the government.
Kabir added further, “I am not provided with another answer by the government of the question I put earlier in respect of the fact that how was it possible for a BRTC bus of Norshingdi to catch fire in Azimpur?” Investigation reports suggest that the chairman of the Bihongo Poribohon Company is Pankaj Deb Nath who is the president of the collaborating organisation of Awami League called Shechchshebok League. Despite being a lifelong politician he has turned into a businessman all of a sudden during the rule of this coalition Awami League led government and engaged himself in Transport business. Around 30 to 35 buses of the company are running in the roads of the capital but transport authority informed that almost all the buses are very old. Some of the buses lack fitness guarantee or in some cases gained fitness certificate by lobbying.
It has come to be known after talking to the labour and owner association that regardless of being unfit to run in the roads the buses carry a defiant attitude. As the buses belong to the Awami associated leaders, the traffic police lack the courage to confront the bus drivers. The managing director of the Bihongo Paribohon was once the helper of the same bus. By joining the leaders he has also turned into the managing director of the company. The continuous petrol and bombing attack on the buses of the company thus forced many to raise question similar to those raised by New Age Editor Nurul Kabir.
One of the transport owners on condition to remain anonymous informed that a few days ago the bus of Bihongo Poribohon was used to obstruct the convoy of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia. According to the observation of the owner, it is possible to frame the opposition party by using the buses of the same company. He believes that some media organisations are also responsible for this as right after the incidents took place they did not spend a moment to cover and expose them profusely. Further, without even a primary investigation the opposition parties are unilaterally being blamed for such occurrences by those media. However, no analysis is being carried out in order to disclose the names of the owners of the buses or how actually the incidents are taking place. Even more surprising is that after each incident no further inspection is being undertaken.
Translated from the Original Bangla article by The Daily Inqilab: