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Political Violence in Bangladesh is under an Excruciating state

Edit Date:12/30/2010 12:00:00 AM

Content

·         Introduction

·         Retrospections of Political Violence in Bangladesh/Onset of political intolerance setting the political violence:

·         Political violence and Human Rights Violations:

·         Reports from prominent human rights organizations :

·         Odhikar

·         Case studies:

·         Murder of Upuzilla Chair man from Opposition party:

·         28th Octobers’s Killing

·         Recommendations:

·         To the government

·         To the  International Community

·         To the Donor Agency

·         To the national and International human rights organizations

·         To the political parties

·         Conclusion:

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

Political violence in Bangladesh has been an integral part of Bangladeshi politics unlike the other sub-continental traditional politics. Political violence in Bangladesh is different from sub continental country’s political violence as political violence in Pakistan, India and Sri-lonka emerges from ethnic suppression or ethnic exploitation in terms of political and economic rights. Here in Bangladesh the roots of the political violence is basically intolerance to others ideology, activism and gains. Also to hobble the opposing political party and minor political parties. The party in power, individuals and groups backed by the ruling party always incriminates acts of violence, suppression and intimidation against opposing parties and groups. Having the same ethnic identity and same religious sects mostly the people don’t go for ethnic or religious clash not resisting themselves towards the intolerance of political gains which makes Bangladesh’s situation as a unique one. The situation of political violence becomes drastic and couples the putrid effects when the state authority or government  accuse the opposing party   not taking  proper and effective actions to mitigate or to punish the perpetrator and its accomplice. The country recently moved to civil rule after about two years two years military backed caretaker governments rule. Though there has been a landslide victory of civil ruled government but still the use of aggression as a political tool prevalent there. Recently situation political violence has aggravated been from the village to urban area at a same motion where the situation devastatingly ruined in higher education institutions where the student wings of political parties indiscriminately suppressing the opposing parties and individuals. Almost all wings of Political parties are resorting act of violence and aggression against opposing parties even its no wondering that the internal clashes of ruling parting in search of exercising power has increased at large.  Though Political Violence in Bangladesh is in dire condition, a cure for it is still possible if the Government, International Community, Donor Agencies and countries, National and International Human Rights Commissions and political parties takes the proper initiatives to cease it.

 

Retrospections of Political Violence in Bangladesh/Onset of political intolerance setting the political violence:

 

Political Violence in Bangladesh still remains as a tool to gain the particular political objective and to suppress the other’s opinion since its birth as an independent country. The people of Bangladesh learned to grow and survive from the political aggression and suppression of Pakistani ruling party both military and civil. So the people of Bangladesh couldn’t but resorted to act of violence in response to free the land from suppression and oppression. But after leaving almost all the bloods formulated in Pakistani period still the ruling party of Bangladesh couldn’t rinse and clear the membrane of Pakistani dirty intolerant politics.  Political aggression and use of violence Political aggression and suppression were very. The people of newly formed country taking a sanguine view welcomed the Shaik Mujibur Rahman cheerfully. Shaik Mujibur Rahman took over the power of the war damaged country. The military whose overall image had been tainted by the brutality since march 1971, had to be reorganized and its duties defined . Mujib, unsure of relying on the existing military(comprising largly of anti-liberation forces0, set up his rival force Rakki bahini.(Sreeradha Dutta, political violence in Bangladesh trends and causes ,strategic analysis, july-september 2005).The military personnels and a part of civilian too couldn’t take that easily. There had been created an inert agitatation among the military groups.In the mean time  thriving on the war-torn environment, extremist groups such as Sarbohara party and Gonobahini of Jatiya Smajtantrik Dal resorted to terrorism to combat feudal elements. .(Sreeradha Dutta, political violence in Bangladesh trends and causes ,strategic analysis, july-september 2005). On December 28, 1974,Mujib declared a state of emergency and suspended all civil and democratic rights. In a session that lasted no more than a few hours, on January 25,1975, the Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament) hastily approved the FourthAmendment. This fundamentally altered the political system and replaced the parliamentary system with the presidential system and institutionalized single-party rule in Bangladesh. Mujib who won almost all seats he contested in 1971 by amassing 97.6 per cent of the votes, banned all political parties, and announced the formation of the Bangladesh Krishak Sramik Awami League (BAKSAL). The stage was thus set for a violent confrontation. .(Sreeradha Dutta, political violence in Bangladesh trends and causes ,strategic analysis, July September 2005). The greed of remaing in power thwarting the democratic process arouses the other party to resort violence to bring back their political rights.

 

The ban of political parties and creation of Bakshal come to an end through the assassination of Mujib along with his whole family and resulting the military rule in the country. Through the acendents of  Khondoker Mosharrof in power the political killings continues where four top wartime leaders were killed in Dhaka jail. In 80’s Ziur Rahman  coming from military background as a president were killed in Chittagong on may 30 1981 , the country again brought under the rule of military dictator  by Hossain Mohammad Ershad. Thus the short period of Mujib creates the stage for military rule and stages the drama of military suppression and political violence searching power.   

 

 

Political Violence in 90’s and afterwards:

 

The last military dictatorship of Hussain Mohammad Ershad was thrown away by the united political force of Bangladesh where the United BNP, Awami league and Jamayat force walked and worked together for the shake of bringing democracy back. For the first time in history Bangladesh saw the a political cohesion for bring democracy back . Interestingly the Awami league  which is now has been very intolerent to Jamayat Islami Bangladesh both came together and sat together for rebuilding democracy. But the hunger for power and cupidity brought the ruling party into political suppression as well as confrontation blaming each other for power occupying tricks.After the demose of the military power of Ershad  national parliamentary  election was held in 1991 under the newly installed neutral caretaker government system. Here starts again the political violence during the election period. There were 83 incidents of violence among the political parties resulting 14 deaths and 593 injuries between January and march 1991 daily ittefuq reports.(Nawreen Satter, The Nexus of Democratization and political violence: Explaing  Political Party Violence, Spring 2008.  The chart below tracks the number of events stemming from political party induced violence in the country between 1991 and 2001, a period covering the three election years: 1991, 1996 and 2001, based on data collected from the Daily Ittefaq newspaper:

 

 

 Chart: Party Violence in Bangladesh 1991-2001

 

 

Reports on Political Violence and Human Rights Violation From NGO’s :

 Political violence continues with aggravated intensity. The occurrence of a number of

sensitive incidents this month has brought new volatility to the political situation. The

murder of upazila (Upazila is the sub-district and the second tier of the local government institution) chairman of Boraigraam under Natore district Sanaullah Noor Babu; 6

dead and approximately 200 injured as high-speed train runs over a gathering of general

public on the rail tracks to listen to a speech being delivered by the leader of the opposition party in Sirajganj; open display of weapons by a group of masked assailants targeting a

meeting of the Jubo Dal(Youth wing of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party) in Comilla; and vandalizing shops and damage of idols of a Hindu goddess by a faction of the Jagannath Hall unit of Chhatra League in Dhaka University are very recent  significant symptoms of social and political instability. The situation is rendered more volatile as the leaders at the top of the hierarchy of the two major political parties, BNP and Awami League; engage in verbal battles over levying blame and responsibility for the incidents upon each other. Six people died and about 200 injured in Sirajganj in October 2010, as a high-speed train ran over members of the opposion party BNP  who gathered over a railway track in order to listen to a speech delivered by the Opposition leader Begum Khaleda Zia. The incident took place on October 11, 2010, 20 yards away from the designated place of meeting at Mulbari rail-crossing area on the eastern adjoining road to the Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge. After the incident, an angry mob torched the train. A clash broke out between the police and the public at that time.( The Daily Kaler Kantho, 12/10/2010) Police have filed six cases against 5000 anonymous people including 38 BNP leaders. 77 people have been arrested so far by police. Meanwhile, authorities informed that it was against the provisions of the railway laws to hold a meeting at the designated place (on the

railway tracks).( The Daily Jugantor, 14/10/2010 and Prothom Alo, 23/10/2010). BNP claims they were refused to hold their meeting in another particular place by the ruling party.

(Taken from Odhiker.com)

 

 

 

Reports of “Odhiker”:

 Odhikar is a Leading human rights monitoring organization of Bangladesh. It monitors human rights violation and publish monthly reports. Here it reported very clearly the political violence and political  violence induced killings and injuries which shows a bad images of present political stability and political tolerance between parties. 

 

October 2010

 According to information gathered by Odhikar, a total of 24 persons have been killed and

770 injured in political violence in October 2010. There were also 35 incidents of internal

violence in the Awami League and 11 within the BNP. In addition to this, 259 people were injured in Awami League internal conflict and 154 persons were injured in BNP initiated incidents.

November 2010:

According to information gathered by Odhikar on November 1-30,2010 , a total of 19 persons have been killed

and 1380 injured in political violence in the month of November 2010. There were

also 26 incidents of internal violence in the Awami League and 02 within the BNP

recorded during this period. In addition to this, 02 people were killed in Awami

League internal conflict while 437 were injured. While, 16 persons were injured in

BNP initiated violence.(Odhiker’s Human rights Monitoring Report, November 2010, Published on December 2010.availeable at http://www.odhikar.org/documents/2010/English_Reports/Human_Rights_Report_November_%202010_English.pdf)

 

Recent Case studies:

Political violence through hartals, processions , human chains  and political assembly has increased just afterwards of 1/11. Both BNP and Awami league government has been very much intolerant towards each other. Most importantly the left leaning Awami league and its 14 party alliance has been very bigoted and dogmatic towards the right leaning Jamaat Islami Bangladesh claiming them as anti liberationist. Here to gain political superiority and to exploit the political achievement parties confronts not tolerating each other. The tolerance level of political parties has decreased to zero level. Awami League party who sat together with Jamaat Islami party to oust military dictator Ershad now to suppress jamaat Islami its showing zero tolerance. Here in politics street power has been a great tool  to the parties to control the political fields. Thus the  opposing opinions of individuals and groups specially the minor political parties like jamaat  Islami having less street power has been battered, bludgeoned and killed indiscriminately and cruelly in several events . To make more sense of the on going political violence, suppression, intimidation and killings here

 

Case study 1:Murder of  Upzilla Chairman Sana Ullah Nuri Babu  by Awami league leaders and Activists:

On October 8, 2010, there was a scheduled rally of the BNP in Bonpara, Natore. Former

General Secretary of the Awami League-backed Chhatra League3 and former Information

and Research Secretary of the District Awami League Professor Zakir Hussein led a group of

miscreants, including Awami League-backed Chhatra League General Secretary of

Boraigraam Upazila Shafiqul Islam, Jubo League4 leaders Rakib, Jamil and Babu attacked the

political procession. Sanaullah Noor Babu (40), Boraigraam Upazila Chairman and the

President of the Boraigraam Municipality BNP, was beaten to death in public. In this attack,

another 35 people were injured including Jamal Uddin Ali, Joint Secretary of the

Boraigraam Upazila BNP. (The Daily Jugantor, 09/10/2010). Later a video footage of this incident was released and aired on

the television channels.

 In spite of these attacks by Jubo League and Chhatra League of the Awami League, on

October 12, 2010, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina commented on the death of Sanaullah Noor

Babu that “The BNP’s internal-conflicts are responsible for the killing of the chairman of

Baraigram Upazila in Natore. They have murdered their own man and are now filing

cases.” (The Daily Amader Shomoy, 13/10/2010).

 Such statement invalidates the necessity to investigate the brutal murder and

hinders the independent functioning of the administration and the judicial process. If the

government is already certain that the killing is an outcome of internal conflict of BNP, it

indicates that the government is not interested in investigating a murder that has been

publicly staged.

 On October 13, 2010, Awami League parliament member of Boraigram-Gurudashpur

constituency, Abdul Quddus, in a meeting at Bonpara, made a statement reassuring the

individuals charged with the murder of Sanaullah Noor Babu that “There is nothing to be

scared of. Awami League is currently governing the state. Nothing will happen to those who have been accused of being involved in this murder case.” (The Daily Star, 14/10/2010)

 

On October 19, 2010, Mahua Noor, wife of the deceased Sanaullah Noor Babu, said at a

press conference at the national press club that “My husband’s murderers are not content

with having just killed him. Now they are threatening me to withdraw the case that has

been filed against them”( The Daily Manabzamin, 20/10/2010).

 Though a case has been filed against 27 people allegedly been

involved in this incident, police arrested only one person.( The Daily Star, 11/10/2010)

 

Wife and daughter of Boraigram upazila chairman and BNP leader Sanaullah Noor Babu break down in tears, as his body is taken for Namaj-e-Janaza yesterday. He, inset, was killed on Friday allegedly by local Awami League activists. Photo:  DAILY STAR

 Case study 2:28th Octobers Killings:

“Downtown Dhaka turns into battlefield” it was the chief report headline of nation renowned newspaper The Daily Star at 29th October 2006. This report actually represented a clash between two major political parties of Bangladesh namely Bangladesh Awamilegue and Bangladesh Jamaeete Islami on the eve of Dhaka city which occurred in earlier day. Along with 16 crores people from all over the country, hundreds crore of people from all over the world were watching  that how terrible situation were created in Bangaldesh. Leaders and activists of a political party can behave so rudely to opponents, this record created a new dimension in the political history of Bangladesh. 7 activists killed and 300 more severely injured during this violence. Even in today, many of them wounded in hospitals.

Case Continuation:

It was October 28, 2006 the nation suffers the grip of an unknown fear. The festive atmosphere of Eid-ul-Fitr at the end of the holy month of Ramadan has not yet passed. As a continuation to the hard-earned democratic trend created in the country, then alliance-government is to hand over power to the caretaker government just three days after Eid. Just as the peace-loving people waits for this historical moment, an unknown fear suddenly grasps the hearts of the public. A strange silence masks the city of Dhaka. Following the tradition, then the Prime Minister addresses the nation on the evening of October 27th. Immediately after that, a pre-planned chaotic situation begins across the entire country, returning to the old scenario of destruction, sabotage, rampage and road blockade. On the next day, October 28th, a feeling of fear prevails across the country. As soon as news is telecast on a TV channel, everyone crowds in front of TV sets to find out what is going on. In the afternoon and evening, when illustrated news is being telecast on almost all TV channels, people’s eyes are stuck. What barbaric scenes, from the city’s Paltan Crossing, are they watching? How enthusiastically a group of people, armed with oars, logs, blades and sticks are relentlessly attacking another group of people. How mercilessly they are beating and spiking living youths to death, and celebrating the successful murders by dancing on top of the dead bodies. They fire streams of bullets and explode bombs in broad day light in front of the police. The roads and the streets flood with blood. Many mothers and sisters fainted from the shock of seeing these scenes. No human being, with a sense of humanity remaining inside, could resist tears at the occurrence of these incidents.

From the Paltan rally held on 18th September 2006, Sheikh Hasina leader of Awamileague  instructed her party members to come to Dhaka with oars, logs, and sticks. It didn’t take the leaders and the workers of Awami League to realize what they have to do. Sheikh Hasina had also chosen the time accordingly: following the constitutional order, when the successful departing Prime Minister of the departing alliance-government is going to hand over power to the very last retired Chief Justice K. M Hassan, just at that instance, Awami League is to execute its pre-planned strategy of spreading overwhelming chaos and disorder across the country in order to prevent the occurrence of a free and fair election. Armed with logs, oars and sticks, the leaders and workers of Awami League come out in the streets on October 28th to carry out their blockade. As a consequence, a state of total chaos suddenly spreads across the country.

 

Case Findings: (What Actually Happend)

Bangladesh Jamaatee Islami arranged program in accordance with earlier announcement at 3.00pm at Baitul Mukarram Uttargate to celebrate the power transportation day of 4 party allienced governments. From the very beginning of that day, they were preparing requirements with festive mode. Another political conference arranged by Bangladesh Awami Legue in Paltan Maydan which is located maintaining standard distance. At 11.00am suddenly a procession led by BAL leaders Kazi Selim and Dr. Iqbal attackted to the activists of BJI and its student supporting wing Bangladesh Islami Chatrashibir (BICS). BAL activists used coktel, arms, logs, oars and sticks. Due to this sudden attack, along with Jamat leaders Nurul Islam Bulbul, Josim Uddin, Mujahid and others who were positioning infront of workers were wounded and some of them are died instantly. Electronic media showed how rogiorusly BAL workers killed Jamat activist Mujahid. They tortuered him through diverge of his hands, nose, legs, head, mouth. Thousands of people from all over the world noticed that how man can dance on the roof of a dead body. Continiously along with BJI activists Habibur Rahman, Joshim Uddin, Hafiz Golam kibria Sipon, Saifulla Mahmud Masum, 7 were instanantly died. The road of Paltan decorated by blood of BJI and BCS workers. . Hospitals and clinics of surrounding were coverd by injured activists of BJI.

During this violence, general people and passersby also suffers serious tortured and hazards from BAL activists. They made this region as a battle field. Fireing, vandalizing, smuggling are also simultaneously continued by them. Lotted and vandalized the market and shops of respondent area.

 

 

 

During 28 October 2006, following BJI Workers were  killed by BAL activists.

Seiral

Name

Age

Leadership

Date of Died

Address

Remarks

1

Hossain Mohammad Mujahidul Islam

22

BICS, president (Mirpur-10)

28.10.06

D-23, Lalkuthi, Mirpur-10

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince

2

Golam Kibria Sipon

21

BICS, President (27 Word, Dhaka South

28.10.06

Baganbari, Mothertake

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

3

Saifullah M. Masum

25

BICS,Secretary (Word 27, Dhaka)

28.10.06

Baganbari, Mothertake

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

4

Md. Josim Uddin

34

BJI (Activist)

28.10.06

Bakshibazar, Dhaka

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

5

Md. Josim Uddin

34

BJI (Activist)

28.10.06

Chandpur

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

6

Md. Habibur Rahman

40

BJI (Activist)

28.10.06

ShaAlibag, Mirpur, Dhaka

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

7

Abdullah Al Foysal

24

BICS Activist

29.10.06

Narayangonj

Due to Attack of BAL & 14 Party Allaince and died in Hospital.

8.

MD. Rasel

25

Chatra Maitree Activist

28.10.06

Dhaka

Due to attack of BAL and BJI

Source: -The Daily Prothom Alo

-The Daily Star

-The Daily Ittefaq

-The Daily Nayadiganta

-The Daily Sangram

 

 

Reaction

In 2006 whenever the proud of Bangladesh, Dr. Mohammad Younus recognized as Novel laureate, then this violence deteriorate our image to the world. The sceneario of killing of BJI worker Mujahidul Islam was shown repetely for many times by a gigantic Television screne at Red Square of Newyork city. Along with American people, peoples from others country also seen this stigmatized history of the world. Many parents of all over the world remove their son from TV room, so that they can avoid the sccen of killing alive peoples infront of thousands people.

Reaction from Mass-media:

Different national and International mass-media published following article regarding tragedic 28th October:

-         “Downtown Dhaka turns into battlefield”-The Daily Star (27.12.2006)

-         A report of The Daily Ittefaq published that “14 party alliance activists killed BJI worker Mujahid so rudely and it can be compare with Mediavble period. (The Daily Ittefaq, 27.10.06)

-         BAL activits bullet picerced BJI workers and 2 died instantly (The  Daily Nayadiganta, 27.06.2006)

-         BAL Workers through at least 12 bombs to BJI meeting, whenever its leader Nizami continuing his speech in the meeting (The Daily Prothom, 27.10.2006)

-          

Reaction from Resource persons:

Kofi Anan

Secretary, UN

“UN Secretary expressed highly concerned toward the political instability of Bangaldesh” (The Daily Prothom Alo, 30.10.2006)

 

Pattresia A Beutainish, US Ambassador in Bangladesh

Whenever one of Bangladeshi citizen recognized as Nobel lauraeate, then this violence will deterioriate Bangladeshi image. (The Daily Jayjay Din, 30.11.06)

Prof. Dr Emaz Uddin (Ex. VC, University of Dhaka)

“28 October 2006 is a stigma for Bangaladeshi and its history. It never and ever be supported”

Bariester Moinul Hossain Editorial President, The Daily Ittefaq

“It is the extreme reflection of national political violence, it should be protected”

Barister Abdur Razzaq, Senior Lawyer, Bangladesh Supreme Court

“It is very tragic incident. BAL has killed opponent people from their peacefull program. It will prohibit the development process of democracy.”

Dr. Kamrul Ahsan, Secretary, Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB)

“It is pre-planned killing incident of BAL.”

 

 

Law of rule regarding this Violence:

In 2010 this violence has passed 4 years. Reality is more pathetic that the present government and law enforcing authority almost forgotten about this incident. Though a number of cases were filed against BAL Chairman and present Prime Minister of the country Shekh Hasina along with others leaders who have affiliated with incident. But present government rejected maximum cases explaining these as political harassment. Rather government intends to make functional those cases which are filed against BJI and BICS leaders. So law of rule and justice here nothing but well documented for the sake of political power exerciser. In near future there have no possibilities to bring this incident in under the jurisdiction of law.

 

 

Recommendations:

 

                                           I.            To the government :

 

 Who ever comes to power and forms the government they become important decision maker and guardian of the people; each and everyone they voted or not.Government body becomes universal authority for all peoples partys security. The policy and decisions and the allotment of opportunities that come from the govt. should be devided equally  and equitably. As govt. body both officials and civilian are to ensure the betterment of the country and its people so govt. always becomes liable for all sorts of hazards wheather it is being created by ruling party or not.To stop and decrease the rate of political violence govt always share the immese responsibility.

 

 

                                        II.            To the  International Community :

    

  In Present  international system  both states and government need to be recognized by the international authority more clearly by other states of the world. Besides the diplomatic and economic relations of state as well as the responsibility and liability   of one state towards international law and values makes one state respecting its human rights standards .  If still any country disregards its human rights international community has manythings to do. Here we recommend to

1.       Express concern when political violence occurs severely and create pressure on govt.

2.       should suggest and help project based approaches to lessen the rate of Political violence.

3.       should pay heed to the standards of human rights violation and political stability before going for economic relations.

4.       should emphasize on political stability and rate of violence when they come to invest in Bangladesh.

 

 

                                       III.            To the Donor Agency:  Donor agency from both domestic and International Community can help in regarding the development process of nation human rights and democracy issues. They can also express their concern in different issues. Here we recommend to

1.       Emphasize on political stability and the standards of human rights before it donate in any site of development.

2.       Should emphasize on building democratic institions and

3.       Should emphaze and create pressure to the government for practicing democracy within the political parties.

4.       Take measures to donate on projects to enhance the political tolerance between opposing parties.

5.       Should also emphasize on the participation of both ruling and opposing parties in parliamentary sessions and should create pressure on the governemt to ensure everyones participation.

 

 

 

 

                                      IV.            To the political parties:

Political parties are almost all to blame for political violence so most responsibilities go to the political parties:

We recommend all political parties to:

 1. to Value the life of the people

2. to work for  the welfare of the people rather than the narrow interest of the parties.

3. to value the interest of the state

4. to select the eligible  person to lead the party rather than the leaders who believe in muscle power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conlusion:

 

Political violence in Bangladesh has recently been a frequent hazard for the political stability. It destabilize the growth of democracy and political culture when the chief and crucial part of government body patronize the miscreants for the narrow party interest. To halt the growth of when a party become intolerant toward other party that always worsen the situation of political violence in Bangladesh. Awamileague who work and sat with jamaat Islami during the anti military ruler campaign in 90s people saw for the first time in history the political parties cooperation. But violence get promoted when Awamileague and its alliance becomes intolerant to jamaat islami through blame gaming that also widens gap between Awamileague and BNP increasing the rate of political violence. To ensure a satisfactory growth in almost all sectors of development importantly for economic development political stability is very important for a country.The above mentioned recommendations shall bear significant solution towad stoping the higher rate and acuteness of political violence in Bangladesh to ensure an economically and politically sustainable Bangladesh.

 

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