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Attacks on Pabna Hindus - Cops’ role comes into question - NHRC chief unhappy at failure to arrest culprits

Bangladesh on 08 November 2013
Location : Pabna | Source : Daily Star. Image Source: Daily Star

National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman yesterday asked police to immediately arrest the identified attackers of the Hindus in Bonogram of Pabna.

Visiting the affected Hindus of Bonogram Bazar, Mizanur showed yesterday’s The Daily Star report “Some attackers seen with Tuku” to Additional Superintendent of Police of Pabna Abu Baker Siddiq.

Talking to the ASP at the home of Babul Saha, one of the victims of last Saturday’s violence against the Hindus, Mizanur asked why journalists could identify the culprits with the help of locals and the police could not.

“How could they accompany the minister? I want to see that you [the police] arrest the identified person soon,” he told the ASP showing him the photo The Daily Star published, which had an alleged attacker of the Hindus standing behind State Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku in Bonogram.

“Ministers belong to political parties but you [the police] are neutral so arrest the real culprits,” Mizanur said.

ASP Baker told the NHRC chief that none of the attackers identified by the paper were named as accused in the two cases filed in connection with attack last week.

The Daily Star in its yesterday’s report did not mention that the people it identified were named as accused in any case filed in connection with the attack. The paper said several locals came forward and identified them as the culprits.

The case Babul Saha had filed after the assault accused only 20 identified people but 2,000-3,000 unidentified people.

Regarding arrests, Pabna Superintendent of Police Md Miraz Uddin said police was investigating and trying to arrest the “real” culprits. He said, “State minister for home Shamsul Hoque Tuku had asked district police to arrest the real culprits irrespective of their political identity.”

He said police had identified a few hundred attackers based on victims’ statements but they had fled.

On last Saturday, a mob, allegedly led by BNP-Jamaat men, attacked the Hindus and vandalised over 100 houses and shops at Bonogram Bazar.
Coinciding this, another group of men blocked the Pabna-Dhaka highway and attacked law enforcers. They demanded Rajib Saha’s, Babul Saha’s son, execution claiming that he had disrespected Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) on a facebook page.

The Daily Star has not found any link between Rajib and any post or website that disrespected the Prophet.

Rajib’s father Babul Saha, a leading trader in Bonogram Bazar, had earlier refused to pay “protection money” to a local gang of extortionists.

Pabna district unit of BNP leaders yesterday visited the victims and distributed rice among them.

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