Friday, March 1, 2024

166 detained in Chittagong, Cox’s Bazar

Several thousand accused in 16 cases
Law enforcers have so far arrested 166 people in connection with Saturday’s violence at Ramu in Cox’s Bazar that later spread in the port city.
Of the arrestees, 93 were picked up from Cox’s Bazar and 73 from Chittagong, Home Minister Mohiuddin Khan Alamgir yesterday told the media in the capital.
Sixteen cases — 13 in Cox’s Bazar and three with Patiya Police Staion — have been filed so far against several thousand people in connection with the violence.
Dipananda Bhikkhu, priest of Kolagaon Sarbojanin Ratnangkur Buddha Bihar, which was set on fire on Sunday, lodged one of the cases with Patiya Police Station accusing 37 persons by name and around 500 unknown persons.
Of the cases in Cox’s Bazar, six were lodged with Ramu, four with Ukhia, two with Teknaf and one with Sadar police stations, Babul Akhter, additional superintendent of police in Cox’s Bazar, told The Daily Star.
Law enforcers were reported to have been raiding different places in Cox’s Bazar to detain more people involved in the sectarian attack.
State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Jahangir Kabir Nanak and Joint General Secretary of the ruling Awami League Mahbubul Alam Hanif yesterday visited Ramu Kendriya Shima Bihar in the afternoon. Bir Bahadur, lawmaker from Bandarban, was also present with them.
Meanwhile, Western Marine Shipyard remained closed yesterday following the arrest of its 25 sub-contractors in connection with Saturday night’s violence.
During a visit yesterday, The Daily Star found the Buddhist community of four upazilas in Cox’s Bazar district passing time in panic owing to the last two days’ violence in the region.
Although Section 144 has been imposed and law enforcement agencies, including the army, have been patrolling the sensitive areas, local residents still seemed to be reeling from the violence.
On Saturday night, protestors attacked seven temples in Ramu. Some of these temples were damaged extensively.
Locals claimed that around 2,000 people participated in the attack and no police were there during the time. The protestors used gunpowder and petrol during the attack.
Maj Gen Sabbir Ahmed, general officer commanding (GOC) of Chittagong Cantonment, said the army had set up camp in the area. He said army troops would stay there until the situation calmed down completely.
Lutfor Rahman Kajol, BNP lawmaker from Cox’s Bazar-3 constituency, said he had asked police to arrest the man who carried a poster that was defaming the Quran during the rally at Ramu Chaumuhoni before the incident.
“But police did not arrest the person. Had they done it, the situation would not have gone so bad,” he added.
Meanwhile, agitated locals yesterday chased Nazibul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ramu Police Station, when he went to visit the Shima Bihar around 3:30pm. The OC took shelter in a nearby house, from where police later had to rescue him.
Speakers at a rally in Chittagong yesterday protested the violence, saying the attackers had ruined the 300-year-old Buddhist temples and set fire to archaeological testimony of the country’s opulent heritage. The speakers termed the attackers traitors and enemy to the culture and glory of the nation.
The rally, under the banner of “Sachetan Nagarik Samaj O Sarbastarer Sanskriti Karmi”, was organised at Chittagong Press Club.

Courtesy of The Daily Star

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