Saturday, March 30, 2013

What really happened in Feni on the 29th of March? The myth of secret meetings

A recent item in the news was the arrest of several people from a mosque at Feni. Police and pro-government media hailed it as something of a revelation. News reports of such media applauded the police raid of a secret meeting of Jamaat-Shibir activists, and sung their (miserable) odes to the bravery and efficiency of the police administration. 

According to the UNB, police arrested 24 Jamaat-Shibir activists from a mosque at East Kalidas village in Sadar upazila on Friday the 29th of March. Sadar upazila Jamaat secretary Abdur Rahim and publicity secretary Harunur Rashid were among the arrested. Police received secret information that a group of Jamaat-Shibir activists were holding a secret meeting inside a mosque. A team of police from Bogdadia outpost rushed to the spot and locked the mosque from outside while the Jamaat-Shibir men were in the meeting inside the mosque in the morning. Later, another team of police from the town rushed in and brought the Jamaat-Shibir men to Feni Model Police Station. Police said they were in a secret meeting for planning to commit subversive activities. They further said that a case was filed against the arrested.

Other reports told a different story, a more reality based one. The Daily Sangram, through its report, proved that the incident was just another case of the prevailing mentality of political witch hunts to demean and breakdown any political opposition in the country. A drama of political persecution was revealed. Few of the arrested had anything to do with Jamaat-Shibir. The police had instead, set a terrible example by arresting musallis from the mosque. The report said that as Musallis started to pack the mosque to take part in the Friday prayers at 12 pm in noon, some Awami League miscreants, came out and locked the mosque from outside. They went to the police station and gave news that Jamaat and Shibir activists were in a meeting inside the mosque and were planning to commit subversive activities. Police came to the premises, opened the lock and arrested about 30 people from the mosque. Among the arrested was Farhadnagar Union Jamaat president Mawlana Mohammad Musa, whose house was in fact adjacent to the doorstep of the mosque. Sadar upazila Jamaat secretary Abdur Rahim, who had come to meet with him, was also among the arrested.   

Twisting facts and statistics are what have characterised the present government in Bangladesh. There is no reason anymore to believe that what we are being fed by the government and pro-government is the authentic version of events. After all, they have been successful in turning a nationwide massacre of more than 150 people killed by security forces into a #blamejamaat event. History should not be written anymore by the tyrants. Its time its written by free minds.

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