08:26 PM, May 10, 2013 / LAST MODIFIED: 09:39 PM, May 10, 2013

DRIVE TO CLEAR SHAPLA CHATTAR

Govt trashes loss of thousands of lives rumour

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UNB, Dhaka

This May 5 photo shows activists of Hefajat-e Islam and Jamat-e-Islami attack a policemen in alleyway near Purana Paltan intersection in the capital. Photo: Star

The government on Friday said the ‘rumor of loss of thousands of lives’ in the city’s Motijheel area during a joint drive to clear Shapla Chattar is completely baseless, fabricated and ill-motivated.

“At the age of mobile phone, email and internet, it’s simply unbelievable,” the government said in a press note issued after five days of 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 people of television channels and still cameramen were present during the drive and monitored and broadcast it. “Many people from high-rise buildings took pictures at that time and saw the incident.”

The press note also mentioned that the members of the law enforcement agencies helped those took shelter inside narrow lanes and buildings to get out freely and without fear.

They law enforcement agencies also helped out the children and youths who came to Dhaka for the first time which 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 said.

Within 10-15 minutes of the drive, the press note said, the people moved towards Sayedabad-Jatrabari from Shapla Chattar and four bodies were seen wrapped in white clothes during the drive.

Quoting police sources, the press note said a total of 11 people, including three pedestrians and a policeman, were killed on the day at different stage of clashes.

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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