May 22, 2024

BSS, DHAKA: The Foreign Ministry today said the recent act of
sabotage and arson attacks on railway during BNP-Jamaat called blockade is a
direct attack on the state and its people, aiming to disrupt the upcoming
election and the nation’s progress.

“The actions of the BNP-Jamaat coalition extend beyond political turmoil;
they have caused physical harm to citizens and extensive damage to government
property,” it said in a post on its verified facebook page.

As the election draws near, the foreign ministry said, the government and
people of Bangladesh stand firmly against terrorism and such acts of
violence.

It said Bangladesh government and its people are determined to uphold peace
and continue the country’s socio-economic development, despite these
challenges.

The post reads as below –

Bangladesh enters a festive winter of a highly participated and richly
contested national election scheduled for January 7, 2024, the nation
witnesses escalating attempts by a vested faction to derail the democratic
processes in Bangladesh.

After failing to gain popular and political support, a faction of the
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and their allies have intensified their
efforts to enforce a blockade, aiming to creating significant impediments to
the upcoming election.

This strategic move by the BNP has led to a disturbing increase in vandalism
and arson attacks across the country.

Their supporters have engaged in these destructive acts to instill panic and
exert undue pressure on the government to concede to their controversial
demands.

A glaring example of this violence occurred on December 13, 2023, when BNP-
Jamaat activists deliberately removed a 20-foot section of railway track.

This act of sabotage resulted in a tragic train derailment near Bankharia,
involving the Dhaka-bound Mohanganj Express.

The accident, occurring around 4:00 am, led to the death of one person and
injured over 50 passengers.

This incident, a direct consequence of the 36-hour blockade called by the
BNP, exemplifies the dangerous lengths to which these groups will go to
disrupt national stability.

Again, on December 19th, at least four passengers, including a woman and her
three-year-old son, were killed as saboteurs set three coaches of Mohanganj
Express on fire near Tejgaon Railway Station area of Dhaka.

The actions of the BNP-Jamaat coalition extend beyond political turmoil; they
have caused physical harm to citizens and extensive damage to government
property. The police and district administration officials have uncovered
evidence linking these groups to the incident, including gas cylinders used
to sever the rail track.

This pattern of targeted attacks on trains is not new. The BNP-Jamaat
alliance previously engaged in similar violent activities between 2013 and
2015, including the torching of nearly 4,000 vehicles and multiple railway
fires. The recent resurgence of such tactics indicates a return to these
destructive methods.

Since October 28, 2023, the BNP’s antigovernment rallies have led to the
burning of almost 400 vehicles nationwide.

Their strategy of calling for hartals and blockades ahead of the election is
a troubling repetition of past actions.

In their pursuit of political objectives, the BNP-Jamaat coalition has not
only caused physical harm and property damage but also attacked essential
services, including a police hospital and ambulances.

This raises a critical question: Are the actions of the BNP-Jamaat coalition
a legitimate form of political expression, or do they constitute a severe
violation of human rights and public safety?

In the latest incident involving the Mohanganj Express, the local
administration, police, and fire departments responded swiftly to the
derailment caused by the removed rail tracks.

Two suspects have been apprehended, linked to the sabotage. Investigations
suggest that this act was premeditated, with meetings held to plan this
deadly act.

This sabotage is a direct attack on the state and its people, aiming to
disrupt the upcoming election and the nation’s progress.

As the election draws near, the government and people of Bangladesh stand
firmly against terrorism and such acts of violence. They are determined to
uphold peace and continue the country’s socio-economic development, despite
these challenges.

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