Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Letter of Martyr Mahmudul Hossain from Bangladesh

A heart wrenching letter written on the hospital bed by brother Mahmudul Hossain, the 181st martyr of Bangladesh Islami Chatro Shibir, a few days before he passed away a martyr.

The letter is given as follows (in English translation)


Whatever good deeds I have done in my life, they are few in number. And the weight of (my) bad deeds is (a lot) heavier. However, I find solace in fact that I have always had deep faith and reliance upon Allah. And I always loved the Islamic movement (with my) heart and soul. So today my wish is that Allah grant me optimum “Hayaat” (life span) such that I can mould myself into a slave (of the Almighty) who is worthy of the Jannah and spend my life in being part of the struggle to establish Allah’s Deen (Islam) on Allah’s Land.

The seeds of the establishment of the Deen (Islam) that have been planted in this green (fertile) land will one day grow into a self sustaining tree. Throughout the time required for this transformation, thousands of leaves will fall; each single leaf a single shaheed (martyr). However, these leaves will remain evergreen forever, for martyrs do not die; they never ever die. They remain immortal by the Grace of Allah.

Remember me in your Dua’as to the Almighty.

Mahmudul Hossain,
The original Bangla letter written by the martyr..............

আমার অনুভূতি

জীবনে যতটুকু ভালো কাজ করেছি, তা সামান্য। আর খারাপের পাল্লাটা অনেক ভারি। তবে সান্ত্বনা হল আল্লাহর প্রতি অগাধ বিশ্বাস ও নির্ভরতা ছিল। আর ইসলামী আন্দোলনকে আমি মনে প্রাণে ভালবাসতাম। তাই আজ আমার আল্লাহর কাছে আমার চাওয়া যেন আল্লাহ্‌ আমাকে উত্তম হায়াত দান করেন যাতে আমি জান্নাত উপযোগী বান্দা হতে পারি এবং আল্লাহর এই জমিনে তার দ্বীন কায়েমের কাজে আজীবন অংশ নিতে পারি।

সবুজ এই ভূখণ্ডে দ্বীন কায়েমের যে বীজ রোপিত হয়েছে তা একদিন স্বয়ংসম্পূর্ণ বৃক্ষে পরিণত হবে। যে সময় লাগবে তাতে ঝরবে হাজারো পাতা, আর এই ঝরা পাতাগুলো হল একেকজন শহীদ। কিন্তু এই পাতাগুলো থাকবে তাজা, কেননা শহীদেরা মরে না, মরে না কখনো। বেচে থাকে চিরজীবন আল্লাহর কুদরতে।

সবাই আমার জন্য আল্লাহর কাছে দোয়া করবেন।

মাহমুদুল হোসাইন

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Mahmudul Hossain, Shibir associate, passes away succumbing to police gunshot wounds

Mahmudul Hossain, Shibir associate, died a martyr today at a hospital in Dhaka after succumbing to wounds sustained on the 28th of October 2013 when police fired upon crowds of protesters at Chatkhil, Noakhali.
Hospital sources informed that Mahmudul passed away on Wednesday (today) morning while still under intensive care.

It is mentionable that Mahmudul Hossain was injured on the 28th of October when a Jamaat procession was attacked by the trio of police, BGB and the Awami League at Noakhali city. Suffering from a gunshot wound that entered through his chest, punctured his lungs and exited through his back, Mahmudul was initially admitted to a local hospital at Noakhali. On deterioration of his condition however, he was admitted to a hospital in Dhaka, where despite repeated operations and intensive care, he succumbed to his injuries.

Picture: Mahmudul being treated for gunshot wound that punctured his lungs

Mahmudul Hossain was a resident of Chatkhil pouroshobha, Noakhali. The second among three siblings, Mahmudul was an Alim 1st year student of Al Madrasah Al Diniyyah at Maijdi. His father Khurshid Alam is an expatriate living abroad while his mother is a housewife. An associate of Shibir, friends and dear ones said that Mahmudul was exceptionally well behaved and possessed good character. He was active as an associate of Noakhali city zone and is the 181st martyr in the history of Bangladesh Islami Chatra Shibir.

The namaaz e janaza of the shaheed (martyr) shall be held on Thursday at Chatkhil Kamil Madrassah Ground at 8:30 am. May Allah accept this sacrifice. May Allah bring to justice the perpetrators of this heinous crime which resulted in the death of an innocent life.       

Murdered by the state, Jamaat leader Aminul Islam's dead body found: The implications

State forces under the guidance of the government of Sheikh Hasina killed labour leader Aminul Islam, aged 40, on the 4th of April 2012. The world saw the brutality with which he was killed. His body was recovered a day later and identified by his family from photographs on the 6th of April. His only fault was that he stood up for the rights of his fellow workers, against the might of the state, against the injustice. See this exhaustive chronological report on the murder of the well known labor rights activists Aminul Islam, a case which remains ‘unsolved’ by the security forces which killed him. 

Today, about 1.5 years later, the dead body of another Aminul Islam has been found, this time at Sitakunda in Chittagong. Police ‘recovered’ the bullet-hit body of Aminul Islam Amin, aged 40, secretary of Barabkunda union unit of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, from Kasaipara in the upazila around 1:30 pm. Local Jamaat leader Anwar Siddiqui Chowdhury confirmed that members of Detective Branch of police arrested Aminul from a restaurant in Chouddagram upazila of Comilla on November 17 during a stopover while he along with his wife was returning to Chittagong from Dhaka by a bus. He was not seen since. The body was found next to a slaughter house next to the Dhaka Chittagong highway at Panthotila area. The body of the previously abducted leader was found gagged and bullet ridden.


Picture: Aminul Islam Amin

Aminul Islam Amin is the not the first, nor definitely an isolated case. Police and BGB at Sitakunda, along with security forces at all places in the country have not hesitated in using live ammunition in the dispersal of crowds of protesters who tried to exercise their democratic right to protest peacefully. The hypocrisy this government has shown in keeping its mouth shut on the barrage of deaths that have occurred over the past few weeks show the inherent autocratic tendency of this government when it ordered security forces to use live fire upon public demonstrations, granting impunity to the killers at will. Helpful in this regard has been the role of the government compliant media (which have been kept open by the Government) in covering up these deaths under the cloak of reactionary action to public unrest.    

Picture: Body of Jamaat leader Aminul Islam lying beside Dhaka-Chittagong highway, gagged and bullet ridden

Picture: Close view of body of Jamaat leader Aminul Islam lying beside Dhaka-Chittagong highway, gagged and bullet ridden. Notice that he is blind folded too. Will human rights organisations take notice? This is outrageous!!! 

Will the world not condemn this extrajudicial killing? Will the family of this leader who stood up to the injustice and rampant corruption of the police and administration not get justice? It is with a heavy heart that we shall conclude that there is little hope in this regard, as long as the world powers, led by India and the United States continue to adamantly support this autocratic government that has defied every tenet of democracy in the book, and under whose rule countless activists, businessmen, academics, rights workers et al have been subject to unwarranted detainment, torture and oppression. We demand justice. And to that end we demand the removal of this regime. We urge the foreign powers to look beyond their own selfish interests, the victims of which have been the common people of Bangladesh, whose voices ever remain gagged. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Govt finally acknowledges widespread JSC examination leaks

Daily Naya Diganta,
Saturday, 16th November 2013, 05:39 pm
Amanur Rahman
JSC (Junior School Certificate) examination is being conducted using the same question paper under the eight general Education Boards of the country. Till date exams of 6 subjects have been held. Complaints have surfaced of allegations that the question paper of each of the 5 exams has been leaked. It is mentionable that although the daily Naya Diganta had been reporting on the question leak incidents since the very first day of the exam, the board authorities never paid any heed. Regrettably, the Education board officials only started taking notice when several more newspapers published the news of question paper leaks. But by that time the third and fourth exams had already finished. That was also about the time when the inter-boards co-ordination committee woke up. As per board-related sources, it was made sure that before the fifth exam, the pre-determined question set was changed. This was confirmed from a ground inspection of the different examination halls and via the students themselves. The General Science examination held on Saturday was taken via the set B question paper, which was why no similarity was found between the leaked questions and the question paper given to students at the exam halls. It is mentionable that when the attention of the convener of the inter-boards co-ordination committee had been drawn to the topic of question leaks at the first instance of the rise of such allegations; she brushed them off as claims of little or no importance. Professor Taslima Begum, the convener of the inter-boards co-ordination committee and Dhaka Education Board chairman, had avoided the topic of question leaks when confronted with the initial reports of the leaks, terming them as nothing more than “suggestions prepared by experienced teachers”. The same however, formed an investigation committee on the question leak incidents after the fifth day’s exam under the pressure from the ministry of education. The Board Chairman however explained to the Naya Diganta that the 3 member committee had been formed, “to justify the complaints you published in the newspapers. It will start working after the Education minister returns to Dhaka and approves it”. A trusted source from the Dhaka Education Board informed that a meeting of higher officials of the board was held in the board chairman’s office in the morning on Saturday. Here the news of question leaks in the dailies was discussed and an investigation committee was formed. On the other hand, an investigation from various sources on the ground revealed that a class of coaching centers had been taking ‘special exams’ on the night before the JSC exams, right from the first exam day itself. The questions coming in those ‘special’ exams were found to be the same ones that appeared in the main exam. Such was reported in the case of Bangla 1st and 2nd paper, English 2nd paper and 1st paper. And it was found that the text version questions of these exams were spread throughout the country using mobile SMS, taking advantage of the fact that all the eight boards used the same sets of questions. More shocking is the fact that a circle of unscrupulous advantage seekers used the opportunity to even do business, through selling the question sheets. This is due to the fact that the English 2nd paper exam question sheet which was widely available the night before last Thursday was the same question used in the main exam. Parents and guardians, encouraged by the above phenomenon, were seen buying the available science exam sets that were found in Dhaka the night before Saturday. As the report said above, the board, taking notice of the leakage of exam questions, changed the set of the science exams on Saturday morning in an effort towards damage control. A similar trend was seen before the math examination too, as two sets of supposedly “leaked exam questions” were seen available in different parts of Dhaka.
News Link (Bangla) :

Jamaat leader subject to disappearance by police state in Bangladesh

Mesbah Uddin Ahmad Nayeem (33), a council member of Jamaat-e-Islami’s Turag thana and managing director of Matrichaya Housing Limited, has was reportedly abducted by men claiming to be police from the Detective Branch. He is still missing.
Mesbah Uddin’s family was carried off from his house located at sector no.13 of Uttara in the capital Dhaka on Sunday at around 2 am late at night.
His family and relatives informed the press that despite the fact that he was taken away by DB branch men, they didn’t recieve any information on his whereabouts even after inquiring into the disappearance at both the local Police station and DB office.
Deeply worried over the abduction, Mesbah Uddin’s family informed that they believed that the abduction of Mesbah Uddin, a popular local youth leader, was part of the ongoing countrywide government drive to suppress and eliminate the opposition at all levels.
In light of any available information about his abductors and his whereabouts, the family members of the abducted leader have requested the administration to find and rescue him.
It was further known that the same DB men, who abducted Nayeem, went to the house of his business partner Mojammel Haque and took him away too. He has also been missing since.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Debunking the Daily Star yellow journalism: Awami League behind communal attacks at Pabna

A furor was created a few days ago when major media outlets, including the Daily Star, published reports of attacks on the Hindu minority at Pabna at Bonogram bazaar in Santhia upazila, about 40 kilometres from Pabna sadar. The Daily Star reported that the attacks originated from postings on a facebook page where people inflamed by malignly worded attacks on Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) were reported to claim that local resident Rajib Saha had maligned Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in the page.
Understandably so, the page in question was found to be in existence for the sole purpose of the denigration of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and spreading hate speech against Islam and Islamic teachings. However, the twist by the Daily Star was equally tantalizing to behold, as it added its personal spin on to the incident at hand.
.Another yellow doctored report:
The report, without any preamble, injected the following into its vividly detailed report. As per the report, “Yesterday’s incident also followed the trend of recent Jamaat- Shibir-BNP attacks on the Hindu minorities across the country. Locals of Bonogram said some known faces of Jamaat, Shibir and BNP led the attacks throughout the day.”

But who were these “known faces of Jamaat, Shibir and BNP”? As always, that was where the report inserted speculation as it stopped elaborating any further into such serious allegations. The mission of the daily Star was accomplished. It had successfully made Jamaat and Shibir the culprits behind the attacks. It had played the religious intolerance card, baring its own sinister political motives of defaming the said parties. The leftists had their fodder for more Jamaat bashing sessions, despite the fact that it was just baseless speculation. But who cares? Despite the fact that journalism has been forced down the drain, the Daily Star, a media outlet which likes to drum on everywhere about its “impeccable reputation”. Let us move on. 
Thinly disguised desperado attempt to separate Awami League and terrorism:
Another report soon followed suit in the same newspaper a couple of days later, this time a contradictory one, entitled “Some attackers seen with Tuku”.

As per the second report, “Some of the alleged culprits of Saturday’s attack on Hindu community in Pabna were yesterday seen with State Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku and two lawmakers in the affected Bonogram village. Interestingly, during the visit, the state minister claimed that his party men had tried to save the Hindu families. Mithu and Rubel, who according to villagers were among the attackers, were prominently seen welcoming the ministers and taking part in a rally organised by the local administration protesting Saturday’s violence. The Daily Star took photos of Mithu and Rubel, both aged between 20 and 25 years. Seeing the photos, the victim families and locals vehemently said that both had taken part in the vandalism and looting. Mithu was seen around the ministers all the time and chanting slogans with others. Asked, locals said Mithu and Rubel of nearby Miapur village are known as local thugs. But the villagers could not confirm their political identity.

“Another youth named Ani, who also had been with the attackers, was also seen in the programme,” said a trader of Bonogram bazar. Hailing from Gouripur, Ani is also known in the area as a mugger and extortionist. He is involved in an underground party along with his uncle, alleged locals.”
So why the double standard? In the earlier report, the Daily Star did not shy away from blatantly claiming that the attacks were led by “known faces of the Jamaat, Shibir and the BNP”. But in the second report, despite the presence of pictographic evidence collected by the Daily Star itself, the meek claim is that the attackers, although very close to the Awami League stalwarts, maysomehow not be related to the Awami League. Intentional or not, this sure is shoddy journalism at its peak.
Pabna communal attacks politically motivated:
So what happens now? We need to know what truly happened that day to understand the reality behind this awful incident. On the 5th of November, eminent leaders of the opposition in Sathia arranged a press conference to give their take on the incident. Their accounts turned out to be equivalent to letting multiple cats out of the bag.
According to the written statement at the conference, ruling party cadres under Khetupara Union Chatroleague Convener Jakir Hossain started distributing printed leaflets of what was claimed to be a facebook status ridiculing and denigrating Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and the Quran at Bonogram Bazar. They claimed that it was written by Rajib Saha.
Behind the scenes of the incident, it was revealed that earlier, Chatra league cadres had demanded extortion money amounting to 2 lakh taka from Rajib Saha’s father, Babul Saha. On being unable to extort the sum, the Chatra League cadres had resorted to using the communal card through incitement of religious hatred against the local Hindus so that they could loot minority properties and carry out an attack on Babul Saha at the same time, all the while keeping their true intentions hidden. A detailed version of the press conference covered by Amardesh can be read here.
Organisers of the press conference said that the incident was being used by the government authorities and the ruling party in order to put the blame on to the opposition. They reiterated the need for the authorities to carry out proper investigations, using video evidence if necessary. It was time to stand beside the victims, not play with the sentiments of the people for political gain.    
It would be in the best interests of the nation as well to attend to the complexities doctored on by biased media such as the Daily Star. Reports such as these bring into question the actual intentions of the Daily Star and will make readers wonder whether the Daily Star had had doctored previous reports with its mysterious hidden intentions in context. Objectively speaking, Bangladesh as a nation would be highly better off without such yellow journalism. Stop yellow journalism NOW.     

Poet Motiur Rahman Mollick named in vandalism case 3 years after his death!!!

Well known poet, songwriter and cultural personality Motiur Rahman Mollick passed away almost three years ago. Shockingly however, it was discovered that he was among those named in a hartal related case at Mohammadpur thana, something which has led to a storm of public criticism against police for this inexplicable ineptitude.
Mohammadpur thana police filed a case on the 6th of November in connection with vandalism of public property and cocktail blasts from an anti-hartal procession at the main road in front of Mohammadia Housing Limited. The case number registered at Mohammadpur thana police station in this regard is 5825(5)/04.
A total of 15 people were found to be accused in connection with the case registered by the police. The 13th name on the list of the accused was found to be that of the poet Motiur Rahman Mollick, despite the fact that he passed away more than 3 years ago back in August 2010.
Many questioned the reason as to how the name of a person who had died 3 years earlier could materialize on such a case sheet. In the light of such an incident, many have begun doubting the methodology, accuracy and above all, the motives of police while filing cases in the light of hartal, raising allegations of political harassment of the opposition as being the true reason behind filing such cases.
When S.I. Bashar, an on-duty police official at Mohammadpur thana was asked about the above case, he replied that this could have occurred due to someone giving false information to the police regarding the incident. Since the information was inherently wrong, he mused that once the defence lawyers would stand up to challenge it at court, the case would become very weak. When asked on how such a discrepancy could happen, the police official replied that he was not aware of the details of how the irregularity had come about in the first place.
News Link: newsevent24

Monday, November 11, 2013

Pilkhana Carnage: Bangladesh PM Hasina and State Minister Kamrul propagate lies using yellow CNN iReport

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and State Minister of Law Kamrul Islam tried to play on with the emotions of common people when they recently came out with outright ridiculous claims regarding the Pilkhana massacre. This was exposed when they were heard making baseless claims regarding the tragic Pilkhana Carnage (For detailed information regarding the Pilkhana massacre, see Not only did it sound ridiculous, the claims of the duo that a CNN report itself claimed that the BNP was behind the Pilkhana massacre were swiftly proved to be outright baseless.

After some simple digging into the report at hand, it was found that the CNN never reported anything even remotely resembling the claims of Hasina & Kamrul. Anybody with the slightest idea about the reporting standards of this powerful TV station from the USA, is sure to know that the CNN surely maintains better standards than claiming opposition BNP leaders instigators and abettors of the Pilkhana massacre without any kind of evidence. Aside from that, how much importance CNN gave to this incident is also questionable.
On November 03, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, at an Awami League rally at Suhrawardy Uddyan on the occasion of the Jail Killing Day, said that CNN had reported in support of Hasina’s unrealistic claim against her all-time rival Khaleda Zia’s involvement in the tragic Pilkhana Carnage.
Following up with her claims, State Minister of Law Kamrul, in an emergency press conference at the secretariat soon after, said that the main responsibilities behind the Pilkhana Killings lay with the Pakistani intelligence agency ISI, BNP leader Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury and Brigadier General (Rtd) ALM Fajlur Rahman, the former Director General of BDR. It is mentionable in this context that Brigadier General (Rtd) ALM Fajlur Rahman is considered a national hero for his role in the historic Padua-Roumari border battle ( Kamrul further added that about 400 million taka had been spent by sides with vested interests in order to realize the Pilkhana carnage.
In reply to a question on how he was so sure about the above by the journalists, Kamrul said that the USA’s CNN had reported these. He informed that it was just very recently through the CNN that he and his colleagues had come to know about the ‘truth’.
Notice that Kamrul’s comments surfaced after the final verdict in the BDR mutiny trials ( ), which was delivered last Tuesday, the 5th of November. This was despite the fact that such information was totally absent in the verdict or any stage of the trials for that matter since even after the submission of the charge sheet in the court, Abdul Kahhar Akand had informed that no political involvement was found in the BDR mutiny incident. Akand claimed that BNP leader Nasir Uddin Ahmed Pintu and Awami League leader Torab Ali had been behind this killing alone by themselves and that they were not commanded or under the influence of any party.
In the search results for “Bangladesh” on the CNN website, news reports related to BDR mutiny are found at page number 29-30. There are 7 reports on this topic published at the time of that incident. These include “Bangladesh: Fewer Officers Missing after Mutiny” published on 03 March 2009, “Bangladesh Army Steps Up Mutineer Hunt” published on 02 March 2009, “Body Search Continues Amid Retaliation Fears” on March 01 2009, “Mass Grave Found After Bangladesh Mutiny” on February 27 2009, “Mutiny Spreads in Bangladesh” & “Bangladesh Says Rebellion by Mutinous Troops Ends” on February 26 2009 and “Dozens Feared Dead in Bangladesh Mutiny” published on February25 2009.
None of these reports make the claims delivered by Hasina or Kamrul.
So where is the report that the duo so confidently spoke about? On searching the internet, the following CNN iReport named “BDR Mutiny in Bangladesh: The Darkest Chapter”, was found ( The CNN iReport was found to be biased to a degree that proved that it was based on totally zero evidence. It is mentionable that the service CNN iReport is open for public reporting in a manner that users can interact and discuss about in their own words. At the very beginning of this service site of the CNN, it is mentioned that iReport write-ups aren’t approved by CNN (“Not Vetted by CNN”). The implications of this disclaimer are exactly similar to the “Editor/Newspaper is not responsible for the writer’s opinions” disclaimer in any newspaper’s Public Opinion column. The CNN iReport in question was written an anonymous writer on the 21 of February 2012 obnoxiously claiming that the ISI, Salahuddin Qader Chowdhury and Fazlur Rahman were behind the Pilkhana Carnage. Not only that, the abovementioned obnoxious article suggests closer Bangladesh-India working relations to thwart Pakistani attempts to gain foothold in Bangladesh.    
It exceeds the boundaries of ridiculousness and falls into the category of cheap entertainment that VVIP’s like Sheikh Hasina and Kamrul have used the said report to show as evidence the involvement of BNP- Jamaat in the Pilkhana massacre.
Moving to something more concrete, it is necessary to know that on the other hand, there is more than one report about involvement of several high profile ministers and MPs of Awami League in the advent of the Pilkhana Carnage where mutineers reportedly met with them to express their intention to mutiny before 25 February. ( ) Sadly however, these ministers and MPs have not been on any trial. Such is the ‘impartially cloaked partial nature” of the judiciary in Bangladesh.  

(Translation credit: Sidratul Muntaha)

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Awami League and police tactics against opposition: A couple of case studies

Incidents of violence abound in Bangladesh the last few days of hartal. Analysts of news and many reporters have been eager to pin all the blame on the activists of the opposition in perpetration of violence. Little reported is the fact that Awami League (ruling party) cadres along with police have often tried to use a combination of ruthless force and guile in implication of BNP, Jamaat and Shibir activists in violence that is in reality reactionary, but shown and published by a maximum of media (complicit with the government and the ruling party due to either ownership issues or ideological affiliation) as being perpetrated by the opposition itself. However, little propagated reports of news show that everything does not go unreported. Despite a heavily focused biased campaign of implicating the opposition in every act of violence, we have managed to sieve through and bring forward specific examples we believe will help in showcasing otherwise.
Case study: Awami League cadres using opposition slogans while carrying out violence

News Link:
Giving the “Naraye Takbir” slogan ( a slogan associated with the Jamaat-e-Islami) , a robber gang, headed by a Chhatra League [Awami League’s student wing] leader, robbed and vandalized vehicles along the Dhaka-Chittagong highway at Sitakund. 5 passengers were seriously injured in this incident. General people converged upon the miscreantsand and held 3 of the robber gang. According to local sources of information, after the hartal was concluded on Tuesday, at 7:30 PM a 7 member robber gang pounced upon passing vehicles on the Barabkund Siraj Bhuiyan street of the highway, robbing and vandalizing 10/15 cars in the process. During these, the robber gang beat several microbus passengers of Mirsorai area along with Nasifa (11), Momotaj Begum (34), Monir Uddin (18), Mohiuddin (38), Mostaq Ullah (32) and then snatched their money & cellphones. Later, hearing the cry of the victims, local people came down the street, ran after those robbers and caught three of them. The held three are Shuvo Dash (18), Sobuj Dash (22), Shahin (19). They admitted that on the order of Jamshed Uddin, the former in-charge of Sitakund Degree College’s Chhatra League, they gave “Naraye Taqbir Allahu Akbar” slogan and carried out the vandalizing and haphazard robbing. On being informed, Sitakund police station’s SI Mahbubul Alam came to the spot. On the other hand, Jamshed has been hiding since this event.


Thu, 31 Oct, 2013 12:05:04 PM
3 Jubo League (Awami League’s student and youth wing) workers were held by the public for vandalizing vehicles while giving slogans associated with the opposition parties BNP and the Jamaat-e-Islami. Local people informed that they held the three Jubo League cadres from the Dhaka-Chittagong highway in Sitakund while they were vandalizing cars and robbing under the cover of these slogans. According to information provided by locals, after the Hartal had concluded on Tuesday, at night 7/8 thugs attacked all the cars on the Barobkund bridge and Siraj Bhuiyan road area of the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, vandalized 20/25 vehicles and robbed money and cellphones from the passengers. During this, the slogans which the thugs were giving were “Naraye Taqbir Allahu Akbar” and other political slogans of Jamaat, Shibir & BNP. During this terrorist attack, several passengers of microbus along with Nasifa (11), Momotaj Begum (34), Monir Uddin (18), Mohiuddin (38), Mestaq Ullah (32) were injured. Their money and cellphones were snatched. Hearing the cries of the injured passengers, local people came down to the street and chased after the thugs, nabbing three of them from the spot, namely Suvash Dash (18), Sabuj dash (22) and Shahin (19). After being held, those three thugs admitted that they were Jubo League workers. They further admitted that they were acting under orders from Jamshed Uddin from Mahmudabad village, the former in-charge of Chhatra League (student wing of Awami League) of Sitakund Degree College, who had ordered them to carry out the aforementioned vandalizing and haphazard robbing. They further informed that Chhatra League cadres Alauddin, Alamgir and Hosain from Fokirhat were among those who had escaped. In reply as to why Jamshed had told them to carry outsuch unwarranted acts, the three informed that Jamshed’s shop had been vandalized during clashes on the 25th of October. That was why, in order to avenge that incident, Jamshed had ordered this robbing with false slogans in order to file a case against BNP & Jamaat activists. On being contacted about the incident, Jamshed informed the media told that he knew nothing about the incident whatsoever. He also claimed that the above incident was false propaganda of the BNP & Jamaat against him & that he didn’t know any of the held miscreants. On the other hand, after being informed about the three held Jubo League workers by concerned citizens, Sitakund police led by SI Mahbubul Alam came to the spot on Wednesday and interrogated the thugs. Local people wanted to hand them over to the police. Surprisingly however, after getting wind their Jubo league identity, the police decided not arrest them. Then on Wednesday in the afternoon in presence of the elders and eminent persons of the locality, they were freed and sent back to their guardians after making them sign bonds that they wouldn’t commit this kind of crime further.

Case Study: Opposition activism vs Awami League cum police action

The reports around opposition induced violence reported in various print and television media outlets indicate that all violence is solely from the side of the opposition Shibir, Jamaat and BNP activists. What these media fail to take into consideration is the popularity that the opposition has gained in their demand for free and fair elections under the caretaker government. What these media have failed to see is the participation of general people in the strikes around the country in the past few days. The situation in Dhaka has featured so prominently in all media that the situation of the whole country is unfortunately measured in terms of the political temperature in Dhaka.

In the majority of the country, the rural areas saw the instantaneous participation of the people in the opposition strikes while urban and metropolitan areas were so blanketed with security forces assisted with Awami League cadres, many of them hired thugs, that going out to demonstrate without anything to defend the self was tantamount to a one way ticket to a near fatal attack through gang lynching followed by imprisonment.

This was the picture of public participation,

Women at Pabna during the nation wide strike come out in numbers to protest the policies of the government, release of the hundreds and thousands of political detainees, release of leaders facing unjust trials at the International Crimes tribunal and a call for an impartial interim government for a free and fair polls.
 Hundreds of people bring out stick processions at Meherpur in support of strikes called by the opposition

 Students of the Islamic University out on the streets in peaceful human processions in support of the strike.
Strike supporters in peaceful stand; playing cricket on the streets on Dhaka-Rangpur highway at Bogura. If this is not peaceful, then I don't really know what is. But this is something you will not see in your regular media.

On the other hand, Awami League thugs along with police used force, intimidation, arrests and what not, resulting in retaliation that became fodder for the cameras which were used by government complicit media to show that the strikes were all about violence. Perhaps none of this fearsome violence would have materialized if the government and security forces would have allowed the opposition to peacefully protest and above all, actually sit in talks with the opposition for a better future instead of just adding fuel to an already volatile situation through a staunch thick headed stance. 

These are some instances of how peaceful the Awami League and police were,
This is Rashed from Rajshahi, who was killed by automatic gunfire from the ranks of the police and the Awami League last week. His fault was that he attended a protest in support of the strike.
 This is a Jamaat Dolia union Ameer who was tortured by Awami League thugs 
Sharp weapons and shooting at the body level were the combination used to great effect by the police and the Awami League in order to create chaos, anarchy and violence. An Awami League cadre using a sharp weapon at Comilla in order to disperse opposition who are seen using rocks as understood from the picture. 

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Awami oppression case study: 12 arrested and the ensuing media spin & propaganda

12 people were arrested by the security forces in Moghbazar in the capital on the 28th of October. Among the arrested were two families of Jamaat e Islami thana level officials and Shibir activists. Police reported that they arrested the 12 people on the basis of ‘secret’ information that they were planning to carry out sabotage. Initially police arrested 9 people from a house beside Noyatola RAB-3 premises at 1 am late into the night. Based on their information, three Shibir activists were arrested by security forces from a mess nearby. Family sources say that all three were students, and two of them had come to Dhaka to gain admission this semester. It is mentionable that a total of five women, among them elderly and frail ladies, were among those arrested by the police in the unwarranted nocturnal drive.

The media spin:
The story got coverage in the media for all the wrong reasons. There was no way to independently verify whether the information that the police gave about the arrested was correct. Along with a couple of other media outlets, Banglanews24, well known for its strong prejudice against Shibir and Jamaat, bared this hatred when it published the news under the dubious headline of “12 members of Shibir arrested”. This is inspite of the common knowledge that shibir is not constituted with female members, let alone elder ladies with heart problems. Banglanews24 further quoted police as saying they had retrieved 15 cocktails (most likely from police reserves themselves) , 2.5 litres of petrol (a household commodity?), a receipt collection book, a list of the Hefazat rallies on the 5th of May (big deal) and a huge (unspecified and thus unaccounted for information). The spirit of hatred and amount of prejudice that media such as banglanews24 hold against Jamaat Shibir activists and their families is palpable, if not outright on the table. Forget the fact that justice calls to treat anyone as innocent until proven guilty. In Bangladesh, few people believe that the police have any integrity whatsoever, a legacy of a lack of any accountability on the part of police. This is in view of the excesses which are regularly committed outside the boundaries of the law by the men in uniform.

Hate propaganda:

The incident was purposefully used by leftist Awami League online activists to spread false and spiteful propaganda on the internet through social media. The claims made by the marauding outlets included ridiculous claims ranging from how Shibir recruited female members to ludicrous stories involving sex jihad by Shibir and Jamaat activists, resulting in the advent of a smear campaign that was used intentionally in general question the Muslim character in the light of the hijab and its affiliation with the Islamic movement in Bangladesh. Ludicrous indeed.

This incident may seem small and insignificant in comparison to already widespread combination of state oppression, media terrorism and propaganda against the opposition in Bangladesh, but it is an indication of the multi-pronged attack strategy and the deep seated and all pervading nature of the prejudice in the ruler’s ranks. With an uncertain future in the coming months, we await for common sense and justice to prevail.