Law enforcers are yet to make any arrests in the cases
As many as 3,636 people have been accused in cases filed over the series of violent protests carried out by Hefazat-e-Islam in Narayanganj, especially on the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway at Siddhirganj upazila, during a nationwide hartal on Sunday.
On Monday, six cases – five by the police and one by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) – were filed with Siddhirganj police station over attacks on law enforcers, arson and vandalism of vehicles on the highway during the hartal.
“Charges of assaulting law enforcement officials, obstruction of police duty, and arson have been brought in the cases filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act,” Siddhirganj police OC Moshiur Rahman told Dhaka Tribune on Tuesday.
A total of 136 people who are affiliated with the local Jamaat-e-Islami, Hefazat and BNP have been named as accused in five cases, he said. “However, we are yet to make any arrests.”
A total of 2,000-2,200 unnamed others are also accused in the five cases. Each case includes 22-35 named accused, on average.
The lawsuit filed by RAB does not include any named accused, just 800-1,000 unidentified suspects.
On Sunday, police in Narayanganj’s Rupganj area arrested four leaders and activists of Chhatra Dal, Jubo Dal, and Swechhasebak Dal for vandalizing a truck on the hartal day. They are Sohail Rana, 40, Sohail Bhuiyan alias Babu, 34, Milon Mollah and Rafiq Hossain, 19.
The four were booked in a case filed by Rupganj police station Sub-Inspector (SI) Mobarak Hossian against 30 identified and 25-55 unidentified suspects.
On Friday, a group of Hefazat-e-Islam hardliners clashed with the police during protests against Indian Prime Minister Modi’s visit outside the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka.
The same day, the Islamist group called dawn to dusk hartal across the country for Sunday and announced a countrywide protest on Saturday for the deaths of its members.
The clashes soon spread like wildfire across the country, leaving hundreds of people injured and scores dead, including journalists and law enforcement officials. There was also significant damage to government and private property.
A total 14 Hefazat men – 10 in Brahmanbaria and four in Chittagong – have died in the clashes with law enforcement officials since Friday.