The Hefazat-e-Islam resorted to mindless violence in the capital city on Sunday in a planned way in which Jamaat-e-Islami and its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir had their stake.
Several officials and members of intelligence agencies earlier submitted reports to the government saying that the Hefazat in league with the Jamaat-Shibir men would create mayhem in the capital during their Dhaka blockade.
Jamaat-Shibir men joined the rally with handmade bombs and axes with which they cut a good number of trees from their stumps in Motijheel area, burnt hundreds of shops to ashes in Baitul Mukarram Mosque area and stabbed to death a policeman named Sahjahan, said an officer.
Besides, they damaged two ATM booths and two banks in the Motijheel area on Sunday morning before police moved in to drive them away from the spot. They did not even spare the holy Quran and other books.
Mohammad Ibrahim Adnan, 18, son of Billal Hossain, a student of Jamia Islamia Ulum Madrasa, who is undergoing treatment at the Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said the madrasa authorities gave him a bulletproof jacket on Saturday night to save him from bullets.
He comes from Sipahibagh area of Munshiganj. They also provided them with sharp weapons. Adnan said: “After the siege when we came to Motijheel we found some other people wearing bulletproof jackets under their panjabis.
Adnan further said the madrasa authorities also told them to protest if police tried to obstruct their Dhaka siege.
The authorities told us to block the roads by vandalizing footpath shops and setting fire to them, he said.
“When we came to Motijheel we saw a group of people hurling stones at police. We tried to stop them but they did not pay heed.”
Director of the intelligence wing of Rapid Action Battalion, Lt Col Ziaul Ahasan said the elite force had information that Hefazat planned to use violence after the siege.
The elite force conveyed the message to the government that Jamaat-Shibir men would resort to subversive activities under the banner of the Hefazat, he said.
The government was also aware of it, he went on, and to resist violence a helicopter of Rab patrolled the area but failed to take any action, as it was a big crowd. Lt Col Zia further said they had successfully flushed them out of the capital; otherwise they would have provoked more violence in the capital.