Monday, 24 January, 2022

Looking Back 2021

Crimes discussed round the year

A number of crimes that took place in the country last year sparked widespread criticisms, keeping aside political and economical issues of the country.

Of the those crimes, rape and murder of an O-level student, violence by Hefazat-e-Islam, Hashem Foods Ltd factory fire, and Pori Moni cases were much-talked-about topics of discussion and criticisms.

Rape and murder of an O-level student: An O-level student of Mastermind School were raped and killed barbarously in the capital on January 6. The heinous crime drew widespread criticism from the people of the country.

It is alleged that Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, his close confidante, brutally raped and killed the student at his home in Kalabagan. Accused Dihan was arrested when the student’s father filed a murder case. The case is being investigated by the Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI).

On November 11, Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) pressed charges against Fardin Iftekhar Dihan, the lone accused in the case.

Hefazat-e-Islam violence: Hefazat-e-Islam has carried out terror activities for three days in protest against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh. On March 26, thousands of Hefazat workers marched out of the Hathazari Bara Madrasa in protest of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit. At that time, they attacked Hathazari police station, union land office and post bungalow.

They also set fire to the land office. Furthermore, they prevented the firefighters from entering the land office. Hefazat and police clashed, killing four people. Leaders and activists of Hifazat-e-Islam blocked the Chattogram-Khagrachhari road for three days protesting against the deaths of their fellow activists. Despite repeated requests from the administration, they did not lift the blockade.

In another incident at Banshkhali upazila of Chattogram on April 17, five people died and dozen others sustained critical injuries during a clash between police and workers of an under-construction coal-power plant.

There were growing tensions between the power plant administration and the workers at the power plant in the last few days over various issues. The situation escalated on April 17 morning,     leading to the clash between police and workers. Five people were killed when police opened fire on workers.

In another incident in the capital’s Moghbazar on June 27, a bomb blast took place at building No. 79 on Outer Circular Road. At least seven people were killed in the blast. More than 50 people were injured. The ground floor of the building collapsed in the blast.

The roof of the first floor collapsed. The blast also damaged buildings nearby. The glasses of the bus and car stuck on the road were shattered. A police investigation has found that accumulated gas in the enclosed part of a store on the ground floor of a building was responsible for the deadly blast.

Hashem Foods Ltd factory fire in Narayanganj: One of the few incidents that shocked people in the 2021 was the fire incident at Hashem Foods Ltd factory in Rupganj, Narayanganj in the evening of July 8.

The Fire Service and Civil Defense Department recovered a total of 52 bodies that night. Of them, 48 were sent to Dhaka Medical College (DMC) Hospital for autopsy.

Pori Moni cases : A case of attempted rape and murder of Dhallywood actress Shamsunnahar Smrity, popularly known as Pori Moni, was lodged with Savar Police Station on June 8.

In the case, Pori Moni alleged that she was taken to Dhaka Boat Club late at night. The main accused in the case was former president of Uttara Club Nasir Uddin Mahmud (50), a member of the executive committee of Dhaka Boat Club (Entertainment and Culture). The second accused in the case is a 40-year-old man named Tuhin Siddiqui Omi, who was familiar with Jimmy, the costume designer of Pori Moni.

The allegation of attempted murder and attempted rape was brought to the fore in a Facebook post.

In her Facebook post, Pori said, “They tried to rape and murder me. I want justice. I seek justice from Prime Minister.”

She told reporters about the incident and mentioned the name of Nasir Uddin Mahmud of Dhaka Boat Club. Nasir Uddin Mahmud of Dhaka Boat Club also filed a counter case. Those, who were allegedly involved in the incident, were arrested and sent to jail. Later, they were released on bail.

Rohingya leader Mohibullah killing: On September 29, Rohingya leader Mohibullah was shot dead in his office at the Kutupalong camp in Ukhiya. When he was taken to the hospital, the doctor declared him dead.

He was the chairman of an organisation called the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH). The organisation has long been working for the repatriation of Rohingyas to Myanmar. He was active in the repatriation process of Rohingyas to Myanmar. For several days, a terrorist group active in the Rohingya camp, had been giving him death threat to Mohibullah.

Mohibullah informed his relatives of the matter. They believed Mohibullah was killed by a terrorist group which were opposing the Rohingya repatriation issues.

Violence over desecrating of Holy Quran at Puja mandapa in Cumilla: It is alleged that the Holy Quran was found in the lap of an idol at the puja mandap on the bank of Nanuar Dighi in Cumilla city. The incident took place on October 13.

When the news over incident spread, several attacks on Puja mandapa took place in Cumilla city. Sequel to the incident, clash between police and protesters took place in the city.

Later, several temples were attacked in Hajiganj of Chandpur and the attackers clashed with police. Four people were killed in a clash with police in Chandpur. Apart from this, attacks and vandalism took place at several places including Hatia in Noakhali, Bashkhali in Chattogram and Pekua in Cox’s Bazar.

Later, police arrested a young man named Iqbal and said that he kept the Quran in the puja mandapa of Cumilla.

Six murders in Rohingya camps: In the morning on October 22, a group of armed Rohingyas attacked the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama Al Islamiyah madrassa in Ukhia Rohingya Camp No. 18 in Cox's Bazar and brutally killed six people, including teachers and students.

Armed Police Battalion (APBN) arrested 11 people in the incident. The terrorists wanted to set up a ‘training center’ in a Rohingya camp madrassa. Six people were killed for obstructing this work.

Rape of a housewife in Cox’s Bazar town: On December 22, a group of miscreants gang-raped a housewife while she was traveling in Cox’s Bazar with her husband and children in the town.

The victim’s husband filed a case accusing seven people. They lived in the Jatrabari area of Dhaka.

On the night of December 22, some youths took the victim along with her husband and children from near the local tourist golf course.

After separating her husband and children, the woman was taken to a shack and gang-raped. The woman was later taken to Zia Guest Inn, a residential hotel in the town. The woman was raped for the second time there.

On December 24, at least 49 people were killed in a launch fire incident in Jhalakathi.  MV Abhijan-10 was name of the launch.

Over 100 passengers were also injured in the fire incident. Many are still missing.