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Monday, 16 June 2014

Police file cases against Biharis Muslims in Bangladesh

Police file cases against Biharis Muslims in Bangladesh
Biharis Muslims blame Mollah, JL men for arson attack, killings
The police are yet to identify the miscreants who burnt houses of Urdu-speaking people at a relief camp and killed 10 of them at Mirpur in the capital on Saturday morning, instead, they blamed the Biharis for the clashes that led to the killing. Six cases were filed with Pallabi police station in connection with the arson attack and killings. Police filed two of the cases for the arson attack that had killed 10 people, and for assault on policemen. The cases were transferred to the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police. Residents of Kurmitola Pakistani relief camp, better known as Biharis, protested against the cases. They alleged that the police had sided with local lawmaker Elias Uddin Mollah and Juba League and Chhatra League men who, they alleged, had mounted the arson attack. They also demanded immediate withdrawal of Pallabi police officer-in- charge Syed Ziauzzaman. Around 3,000 people were sued in the six cases while police have so far arrested seven people in this connection. The arrested people are – Farid, Azad, Sabbir, Arif, Jewel, Nabin and Badruddin. Most of them are Urdu-speaking people. A Dhaka court remanded four of them in police custody for two days each. At least nine members of a family were burnt to death when eight Bihari homes at the camp were torched after scuffles between Biharis and law enforcers, allegedly accompanied by locals early Saturday. A 10th person was killed reportedly in police firing. The police, however, were yet to identify the people who had torched the houses, said the Pallabi police OC. In the first information reports, police alleged that the stranded Pakistani residents of Kurmitola camp and New Kurmitola camp had locked in clashes with each other blasting crude bombs and crackers. As police reached the spot, the Biharis ringed and attacked them. One of the cases said that around 100-150 Bengalis from slums nearby were injured in attacks by the Biharis. However, New Age could not trace more than 10 Bengali people among the injured. Jabbar Khan, president of Stranded Pakistanis General Repatriation Committee, said that those were ‘false’ cases aimed to harass the Urdu-speaking community there. Jabbar blamed Elias Mollah and his cohorts for the arson attack saying that they were plotting to evict the Urdu-speaking people from the camps to grab the land. Jalaluddin, president of Kurmitola Bihari camp, expressed his anger and frustration. ‘Is it justice? We are the victims and cases have been filed against us. We were not even allowed to file a case.’ A local resident, Mobarak Hossain, filed a case against some unidentified people for vandalising a mosque during the violence. The Urdu-speaking people vandalised vehicles and blocked Kalshi road halting traffic for several hours on Sunday in protest at the arson attack and killings. The stranded Pakistanis in the area blamed Elias Mollah and Juba League men for the attacks. They torched an effigy of the lawmaker and brought out a procession demanding his punishment. Mollah, however, denied the allegation. They alleged that police had intercepted many stranded Pakistanis at different places as they were going to join the Kalshi agitation. At Mohammadpur, police intercepted Biharis at Geneva camp. The stranded Pakistanis alleged that Juba League Pallabi unit secretary Jewel Rana and Chhatra League man Tipu had led the attack. They vandalised the slum, looted houses and set those on fire in presence of the police, the Biharis alleged. Jewel Rana was earlier arrested on charge of harassing a girl that led her to commit suicide. Locals said that they had a quarrel with Elias and his men on June 11. The lawmaker wanted to give power connection to nearby Raju Slum controlled by him. Biharis objected to the move that had led to brief scuffles between the Urdu- speaking people and Mollah’s men. ‘Mollah then threatened the Biharis with consequences,’ said Mannan Hossain, a resident of the relief camp. However, Mollah told New Age that the camp inmates had scuffles among themselves over power supply three days ago and blocked a road. He said he had visited the spot that day to try to calm the situation but returned after having failed to reach a settlement. Teams of Criminal Investigation Department and Detective Branch visited the spot. A team of National Human Rights Commission also visited the spot. Meanwhile, state minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan said that there would be no flaws in the investigation and none would be spared if found guilty. The bodies of the victims were handed over to their families after post- mortem examinations. - See more at: