DHAKA: One year after the Hefajat anarchy in the capital, no headway is noticed in regards to 42 criminal cases filed in connection with killing, looting, arson and other such dreadful acts.
The Hefajat-e-Islami, of which name was first known after the government formulated the Women Development Policy, suddenly came up fiercely with understandable fresh financing following a mass upsurge over the verdict of Kader Mollah’s case.
A month after a grand rally at Shapla Chattar in Motijhil, the Hefajat activists with the support of BNP-Jamaat alliance as well as Ershad’s Jatiya Party unleashed a reign of terror in the heart of the capital on May 5, 2013.
Even the small book shops having the holy Al Quran in their stocks were not spared from the wraths of thousands of Hefajat activists who thronged the capital in processions from across the country.
Many of the processionists were madrasha kids who were asked by their ‘murubbis’ to join the “jehad to protect Islam’.
However, the ‘murubbis’ fled from the scene leaving the kids uncared in a horrific situation when law enforcers were compelled to go on operation in the dark of the night.
The kids finally could escape as the law enforcers themselves ensured way for the children to leave the troubled area.
The Hefajat activists on that day torched to many establishments in the capital and burnt a number of vehicles. They also attacked the law enforcers as well as party offices of Awami League and Communist Party.
The central part of the city on that dreadful evening looked like a war field occupied by motivated militants who were out do whatever they can against `shadow enemies’ they call atheists.
The roadside tress were also uprooted by the Hefajat activists. They had torched to the DC office of Paltan police keeping the law enforcers inside.
With the anarchic activities continued all over the day and then in the night, a joint team of law enforcing agencies went on operation to free Shapla Chattar from Hefajat at around 2am.
Hefajat made a ‘sweeping claim’ of 2,500 people killed in the operation. Odhikar, a human right organization, also came up with similar figure although later it lowered down the number to 61.
Still, the Odhikar, being asked by the government, couldn’t provide any substantial evidence in support of its demand.
Many of the children were found attending madrashas although the Odhikar and Hefajat had claimed that they were shot dead in Motijhil.
The law enforcing agencies denied any casualty in the operation and said two bodies were found wrapped in white clothes, who were killed in ferocious activities by Hefajat earlier in the day, not in their operation.
They also said that the death figure would not be more than 25, including police personnel and innocent people, who were killed by the Hefajat militant activists.
The figure also included the people dead since Hefajat started its anarchic activities on May 5, 2013 morning and they locked in clashes with law enforcers in Narayanganj on their way to return the next day.
Police had filed 42 cases in different thanas in the capital in connection with the Hefajat anarchy last year. Some cases were also filed in Narayanganj, Chittagong and some other places.
A year after the dreadful day and night, the cases did not see any progress. All the cases are now in the deep-fridge for `obvious reason’.
They law enforcers however denied that the cases are not in the right tracks.
“Last year the May 5 was a terrific day. Hefajat had unleashed a reign of terror in the capital, bringing its activists from the across the country. That is the reason we need time to identify all the culprits,” said Monirul Islam, Joint Commissioner of Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Besides, he said, police were busy with checking political violence and then election leaving little time for investigating into the Hefajat cases.
“However, many of the cases are in final stage. We hope to submit charge-sheets shortly,” claimed the Joint Commissioner of DB.
He also informed that soon after the anarchy, some people were arrested, but some of them got bail.
“Still, some accused are on run,” said Monirul Islam.
Of the 42 cases filed over May 5 violence, seven are on murder charge and the rest on different other charges.
The cases included 33 with Paltan police station, 6 with Motijhil and 3 with Ramna thana.
Of the cases, DB have been investigating into 13 while the rest by the respective police stations.
BDST: 1133 HRS, MAY 05, 2014