Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Media Analysis of "Rampage" of Jamaat and Shibir on 28.01.13

News headlines in Bangladesh for 28.12.2013 recounted horrifying stories of clashes of Jamaat and Shibir with the security forces in Dhaka and 3 other districts in Bangladesh. 

The Daily Star labelled it "Jamaat Shibir strike terror", claiming as many as 50 policemen were injured. Its naked hatred towards Jamaat-Shibir was exposed with the following words embedded in the report "Surprisingly, law enforcers did not use newly introduced pepper sprays on the attackers." along with a slice of misinformation,"A policeman and an auto-rickshaw driver in Chittagong suffered bullet wounds as Shibir activists opened fire.", while blandly stating "
Anwar Hossain, deputy commissioner (Motijheel) of police, said they fired more than 250 rubber bullets and 100 teargas canisters. Police also arrested 48 activists with bottles of petrol.Police also fired over a hundred rounds from Chinese rifles and shotguns."

Online news portal banglanews24.com labelled the incident as " Shibir sabotage in 4 districts,50 held", starting with "Leaders and activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir went on rampage in four districts including the capital on Monday.." while giving less importance to " Shibir men claimed that they tried to bring a procession in protest against allegation of torturing its publicity secretary at DB office but police obstructed them.Following the obstruction, Shibir men launched attack on police in Zero point area around 10:15am." 

Another online news portal, bdnews24.com, chipped in with an aggressive "Jamaat is a terrorist group: FBCCI", spelling out its analysis with strong words, "Activists of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir once again pounced on law enforcers at Motijheel following a demonstration in the morning demanding release of their top leaders facing trials on war crimes charges.The Jamaat supporters went berserk in the capital’s Motijheel, smashing nearly 100 vehicles. They set fire to five vehicles including a police van. At least 21 policemen were injuring when they tried to prevent the mayhem.They also carried out similar arson attacks across the country."

The Daily Star inflames the situation further when it adds the PM's statement on the incident, with an appropriate heading"Go tough:PM spurs law enforcers on Jamaat-Shibir violence". Banglanews24.com drops a bomb in the form of "Benazir for shooting Shibir activists", reporting "Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed on Monday asked police personnel to open fire targeting Shibir activists as soon as they (Shibir) are visible.

However, a differently worded story emerged from other sources such as Reuters which focused more on the causes than the 'rampage' with a report headlined, "Scores hurt as Islamists take to Bangladesh streets over tribunal", where it provided its first impression analysis as "At least 50 people including policemen were injured in Bangladesh on Monday as Islamist activists protested against the prosecution of their leaders on charges stemming from a war of independence 40 years ago, police and witnesses said." , incorporating a backdrop explanation of the circumstances leading to the incident with, "Human Rights Watch has said the law under which the accused were being tried fell short of international standards of due process. It cited defence lawyers, witnesses and investigators as saying they had been threatened during the trial."

Finally, the Daily Naya Diganta, in its take on the proceedings, refuted the claim of the Daily Star which had said, "Neither Jamaat nor its student wing had called a programme for yesterday." with the following, "মিছিলটি পূর্বঘোষিত থাকায় পুলিশও আগে থেকেই রাজধানীর বিভিন্ন পয়েন্টে অবস্থান নেয়। / Since the  procession was declared beforehand, police were stationed in various points in Dhaka in advance." 

Later, another bombshell was dropped by the Daily Naya Diganta later on the 29th of January in its report entitled, "পুলিশের হাতে পেট্রলের বোতল ও ম্যাচ!/ Petrol bottle and matches in hand of police", clearly inkling at a treacherous part of police in inflammation of the the violence, saying, "রাজধানীতে গতকাল শিবিরকর্মী ও আইনশৃঙ্খলা বাহিনীর মধ্যে সংঘর্ষ চলাকালে পুলিশের হাতে পেট্রলের বোতল ও ম্যাচ দেখা গেছে। শিবিরকর্মীদের আটকের পর পুলিশকে পেট্রলের বোতল ও ম্যাচ শিবিরকর্মীদের হাতে ধরিয়ে দিতে দেখা গেছে। এমনকি ছদ্মবেশধারী পুলিশ শিবিরের মিছিলে যোগ দিয়ে গাড়িতে অগ্নিসংযোগ করে। গতকাল মতিঝিল এলাকায় সংঘর্ষ চলাকালে পুলিশের ছিল এমন রহস্যজনক ভূমিকা। / Yesterday while clashes between police and Shibir activists were ongoing, it was observed that police were in possession of matches and petrol bottles. These items were put forcefully into hands of detained Shibir activists. It was even observed that plain clothed police blended into processions of Shibir and initiated arson upon vehicles. Such questionable role of police was observed at Motijheel yesterday" 

The photo evidence is pretty damning and brings into question the role of police on the proceedings at Motijheel on that fateful day.

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