Miscreants set ablaze two buses on Dhaka-Chittagong Highway on Tuesday when the motorcade of BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia was passing through Mohipal in Feni, wrapping up her four-day visit to Cox’s Bazar to see for herself the plight of Rohingyas.
Witnesses said two passenger buses parked on the highway came under arson attack by a group of unidentified youths minutes after Khaleda’s motorcade crossed Mohipal petrol pump in the district.
"Unidentified people hurled inflammable substance at the two buses around 4:45pm. There was no passenger or staff inside the buses at the time of explosions," SM Jahangir Alam Sarkar, superintendent of police of Feni, told the daily sun.
The SP said they picked up five people, including drivers of the buses and their aides, to quiz in connection with the incident.
"Two buses named Chouddogram Transport and Jamuna Transport were parked on the wrong place. We are trying to find out why the buses were at that place," he added.
The daily sun correspondent, who was with the motorcade, witnessed the incident when the motorcade was passing through Mohipal area.
Police were also seen working in the area during the incident and helping the motorcade to cross the area smoothly.
The BNP chief returned to Dhaka on Tuesday night from Cox's Bazar after visiting the Rohingyas who have taken shelter there fleeing persecution in their homeland Myanmar.
She visited Rohingya camps on Sunday and returned to Chittagong on Monday.
Before starting for Dhaka, Khaleda talked to the local party leaders and activists of the port city and districts at Chittagong Circuit House and asked them to work unitedly.
The BNP chief directed them to take preparation for the next general election and get ready for waging movement, party sources said.
Meanwhile, BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, in a statement, condemned the incident of setting fire to the buses at Mohipal in Feni.
"They [Awami League] didn't hesitate to attack my motorcade. They even hurled petrol bombs today [Tuesday] and set fire to two buses when my motorcade was passing through Feni on the way to Dhaka. It’s a part of government's heinous act," she said.
Khaleda called upon the authorities concerned to arrest the miscreants and give them exemplary punishment.
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir in a separate statement also condemned the incident.
Speaking at a press conference at Chittagong Circuit House, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the main reason for Khaleda Zia's visit to Cox's Bazar was humanitarian and she proved it as she did not address any public or wayside meeting during her visit.
She visited Rohingya refugee camp at Ukhia in Cox's Bazar to stand by them and distributed relief materials among them.
Mirza Fakhrul said, "Khaleda Zia is a charismatic leader. People from all walks of life support, like and love her. A large number of people greeted her on her way. We didn't organise it. We are ready to face any challenge in the next through utilising her [Khaleda’s] popularity."
About Saturday's attack on Khaleda's motorcade, he said news items were published in different media about the attackers.
The BNP secretary general said they hoped that Awami League leaders, particularly the ruling party general secretary, would condemn the incident, take necessary action to find out the attackers and try to bring them to book as the attackers are 'identified'.
"We clearly think that AL general secretary’s statements are pampering terrorism. It started another process to destroy politics. We strongly condemn it," he said.
Asking the ruling parry to say sorry for the incident, Mirza Fakhrul demanded that the government arrest the culprits behind it.
After distributing relief among Rohingays at Moynarghona Rohingya camp in Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar on Monday, Khaleda called on government to immediately take initiative and make strong diplomatic efforts for repatriation of the helpless Rohingya people from Bangladesh.
She also asked the Myanmar authorities to take back their own citizens by ensuring their security.
The BNP chief said they handed over 110 tonnes of rice to the army for distribution among Rohingyas and 5000 bags of baby food and 5000 bags of food items to BNP medical camp for distribution among pregnant Rohingya women.
About Saturday’s attack on her motorcade in Feni, she claimed that the government knows who carried out the attack.
BNP senior leaders, including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Mirza Abbas, Abdul Moyeen Khan, Nazrul Islam Khan, Gayeshwar Chandra Roy, Abdullah Al Noman, Shamsuzzaman Dudu and AZM Zahid Hossain accompanied Khaleda during her Cox's Bazar visit.
On Saturday, Khaleda started for her four-day visit from her Gulshan residence in Dhaka. Her motorcade came under attack in Feni on her way to Cox’s Bazar on Saturday.
Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal claimed that it was attack on Khaleda's motorcade and announced countrywide demonstration on Wednesday to protest the incident.