08:18 AM, May 11, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 08:18 AM, May 11, 2013

May 6 Death Toll

Govt press note trashes rumour

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BSS, Unb

The government yesterday issued a press note saying 11 persons, including a policeman and three passers-by, were killed in the capital in violence over the Hefajat-e Islam's Dhaka siege programme on May 5.
During raids by law enforcement agencies at the scene of their rally at Shapla Chattar, it said, four bodies attired with coffin were found lying on the grounds beside the dais from which Hefajat leaders addressed the rally, reports BSS.
The 'rumour of loss of thousands of lives' in the city's Motijheel area during the drive was completely baseless, fabricated and ill-motivated, the press note read.
“At the age of mobile phone, email and internet, it's simply unbelievable,” the government said in the press note, which was issued five days after the late night crackdown.
It said relatives, friends and well-wishers of the victims were supposed to get busy looking for their near and dear ones in case of such huge casualties, and the media would also have revealed those.
“No one can show any example in this regard. It proves the news of huge loss of lives is untrue and completely motivated,” the press note said.
It said a large number of media persons of television channels and cameramen were present during the drive, and they monitored and broadcast the event, reports UNB.
“Many people from high-rise buildings took pictures at that time and saw the incident.”
The press note also mentioned that members of the law enforcement agencies helped those, who took shelter inside narrow lanes and buildings, to get out freely and without fear.
They also helped out the children and youths, who came to Dhaka for the first time, and it was broadcast by the electronic media.
“Police and BGB members identified the 'campaign of huge loss of lives' as untrue, illogical and motivated,” the three-page press note read.
Within 10 to 15 minutes of the drive, it said, people moved towards Sayedabad-Jatrabari from Shapla Chattar and four dead bodies were found wrapped in white clothes during the drive.
Earlier, dismissing the allegation of mass killing and concealing bodies, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Benazir Ahmed said there was no incident of killing during the operation at Shapla Chattar.
“As no lethal weapon was used by law enforcers in the late night action to drive away Hefajat activists, there's no possibility of killing at that time,” Benazir told the press conference at the DMP Media Centre.

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