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Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sabotage bid to halt war crimes trial


In its desperation to thwart the war crimes trial, the Jamaat-e-Islami has started ‘sabotaging’ rail communication across Bangladesh, authorities claimed Friday.

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Rail tracks were set on fire, a slipper was found removed and fishplates were dislocated in Chittagong’s Sitakunda, Feni and Lalmonirhat after the first war crimes tribunal awarded death sentence to Jamaat executive council member Delwar Hossain Sayedee for his crimes against humanity during the 1971 Liberation War.

Six coaches of inter-city Mahanagar Godhuli train derailed late Thursday night following removal of fishplates near Feni.

Both police and railway officials believe the Jamaat-e-Islami is behind these incidents.

Railways Minister Mohammad Mujibul Haque also said that those who did not want the war criminals to be tried and were against the independence of Bangladesh were carrying out these sabotages.

He also said security measures were being beefed up to prevent the incidents of sabotage.

A pro-Jamaat-Shibir facebook page named ‘Basher Kella’ Thursday posted several sabotage plans including damaging railway tracks.

One of the posts under the heading, roughly translated into English, ‘Things to do’, had 10 disruptive acts to be carried out. The first one was to “uproot all railway tracks right away”.

The ICT-1 Thursday noon judged that Jamaat policymaker Sayedee would be hanged for his crimes against humanity including genocide, murder, rape, arson, loot and persecution during the Liberation War.

The verdict came at a time when mass protests across the country are going on in demand of capital punishment to all war criminals.

However, hours after Sayedee was handed down death sentence, the Jamaat and its student affiliate the Islami Chhatra Shibir activists started carrying out violent attacks in different districts across the country. At least 35 people, including four policemen, died and hundreds of others were injured in the fierce clashes.

The Jamaat-Shibir activists also attacked and vandalised temples and houses of Hindus in various parts of the country.

Railway's east zone traffic official Jakir Hossain said rail tracks near Kumira Station at Sitakunda were set on fire at Thursday noon.

Mohanagar Godhuli from Chittagong to Dhaka was halted at around 3pm following the fire, but the service resumed at around 5pm.

But the Godhuli coming from Dhaka had fallen prey to an act of sabotage in the night.

Feni Rail Station Manager Mahbubur Rahman told some miscreants had dislodged the track's fishplate clips, leading to derailment of six coaches of Mahanagar Godhuli near the railway station at Khajuria area at around 11:00pm on Thursday night.

The accident closed Chittagong’s railway communication with the rest of the country. No casualties or injuries were reported, but the passengers suffered for a long time.

The was resumed on Friday morning at around 10:15 am after rescue trains went there and carried out the salvage and the repair works.

Meanwhile, a slipper was also found removed from the tracks in Aditmari of Lalmonirhat on Thursday night. However, any mishaps or delays in trains were not reported as the authorities quickly fixed the problem, said Lalmonirhat Station Master Mojibor Rahman.

Railways Minister Mazibul Hoque told “Railway police and other law enforcement forces are trying to control the situation at those places where the acts of sabotages are being carried out.”

He said extra measures have been taken to avoid any kind of sabotage. “All measures have been taken to maintain normal service. If anything happens even after that, those will be taken care of immediately.”

The minister also hinted that Jamaat-e-Islami was behind all these acts of sabotage. He said, “Those who are against trying the war criminals and opposed Bangladesh’s independence are carrying out these sabotages.”

Meanwhile, disruptive acts found its place in the posts of pro-Jamaat-Shibir facebook page ‘Basher Kella’ which also said ‘paralyse all launch and bus terminals, isolate Dhaka from all districts, siege all police stations, rural people must be informed about Sayedee, attack all media outlets which works as middleman, measures must be taken to broadcast in the international media of footages of police firing, siege all embassies, and burning down all residences of ministers and MPs’.

Additional Inspector General of Police Shahidul Haque told that the law enforcers were ready to tackle all kind of attempts of sabotage.

“We are working with the people to prevent this anarchy. I urge everyone to provide assistance in this regard.”

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