Miscreants burned buses to exploit student’s death in Rampura and spark unrest: RAB

The victim, Md Mainuddin Islam Durjoy, was run over and killed by a bus as he tried to stop it after an altercation with transport workers.

A group of people, led by a former activist of the BNP’s worker wing, then tried to cash in on the incident to spread unrest, the RAB said.

The elite police unit made the findings after arresting four people over their alleged involvement in the torching of the buses a month ago.

After Mainuddin’s death on Nov 29, his family said he was crossing the street with his friends when a Green Anabil Paribahan bus ran him over while racing with another bus of Raida Paribahan. Mainuddin’s brother-in-law Md Saddam was injured in the accident.

A candidate for the Secondary School Certificate from Ekramunnesa School, Mainuddin actively took part in the protests for a concession on bus fares for students and safe roads, according to his family.

But RAB spokesman Khandaker Al Moin provided an alternative version of events that had transpired that night.

According to him, Saddam called Mainuddin and several others over the phone after an altercation with a worker of an Anabil Super Paribahan bus. Saddam got off the bus and took another one.

Mainuddin and others began throwing brickbats at the bus when it reached Rampura around 10pm and the driver sped up to flee the attack, said Moin.

Mainuddin chased the bus and tried to get on it in a bid to stop it. But the driver’s assistant pushed him off and the student fell under the rear wheels of the vehicle, the RAB official said.

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Hundreds of locals later took to the streets and their protest soon turned violent. At least eight buses were torched that night.

The RAB said a group of people, led by Monir Hossain, 54, carried out arson attacks in a premeditated manner. Monir had been involved with the BNP’s worker affiliate Jatiyatabadi Sramik Dal and has been implicated in seven cases on charges related to explosives.

The RAB also arrested Hridoy Hasan Parvez, 19, Alauddin Sifat, 25, and Nayeem Hassan Mir, 24, in Dhaka and Cumilla on Tuesday.

Moin said bottles of octane were supplied to the suspected arsonists from a garage and the fuel was used to ignite the buses.

“Monir and his gang’s plan was to incite violent unrest across Bangladesh. Meanwhile, another group of people began sharing photos and videos of past incidents on social media to make the situation worse.”

The authorities identified 15 to 20 people from videos of the incident and information gathered by law enforcers. The National Security Intelligence also took part in the investigation.

The RAB had earlier arrested Swapan Reza, 25, a chauffeur, and Shahid Bapari, 22, a vegetable trader, for their alleged involvement with the arson attacks.

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