Trader Binod Kumar Roy gives a bleak look at his warehouse torched by Jamaat-Shibir men at Beltoli Bazar in Nilphamari district on the night of December 12 last year in reaction to the execution of Jamaat leader Abdul Quader Mollah. Photo: Star
One and a half months into the arson attack and vandalism by activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir in five villages of Nilphamari Sadar, the local administration is yet to prepare the victims' list.
Consequently, organisations and individuals wiling to extend help for the victims find the task difficult.
Jamaat-Shibir men looted and damaged about 150 shops, godowns and dwelling houses at Beltoli Bazar, Kachari Laxmichap Bazar, Dubachhuri, Palashbari and Taronibari villages of Sadar upazila on the night of December 12 last year, apparently in reaction to the execution of Abdul Kader Mollah, assistant general secretary of Jamaat, on charge of crimes against humanity.
On Wednesday, Abdul Gaffar, assistant organising secretary of the central committee of Ghatok Dalal Nirmul Committee, on behalf of its convenor Shahriar Kabir, went to Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Sabet Ali to get a list of the victims for providing them help, but the latter failed to deliver.
Earlier central leaders of the committee provided material support to the victims of similar attacks at different villages of Dinajpur, Thakurgaon, and Gaibandha districts.
“We have received a number of lists of victims from different organisations and the union parishads concerned. It needs verification before finalising as we want to help the real victims,” said UNO Sabet Ali.
So far, no government aid reached the victims of Jamaat-Shibir attacks in Nilphamari Sadar, sources said.
Visiting Beltoli and Laxmichap Kachari bazars on Thursday, this correspondent saw, torn pieces of corrugated iron sheet, scattered pieces of wood, burnt account books, ashes etc all around.
"About 150 shops, godowns and living houses at five villages were destroyed in Jamaat-Shibir attack. After looting valuables from my house at Dubachhuri village, they sprayed petrol and set fire," said Shyam Charan Roy, 62, former chairman of Laxmichhap union parishad in Sadar upazila, also union unit president of ruling Awami League.
Owner of a big grocery at Bottoli Bazar, Binod Roy, 40, said, "Earlier I used to sell goods worth Tk 50 thousand on an average daily but the arson attack left me helpless, destroying things worth Tk 8-10 lakh. I am yet to restart business due to lack of capital.”
Sexagenarian Ashraf Ali, a grocer at Battoli Bazar, lost goods worth about Tk 80 thousand, started a makeshift shop in the deserted market on a wooden cot to sell betel leaves, nuts, with Tk 2000 received from Hindu-Bouddha-Christian Oikya Parishad.
"Authentic list of victims should be made immediately for providing support to them. Commercial banks and NGOs should also be instructed to provide them loans on easy term," said Tapon Kumar Roy, chairman of Polashbari union parishad.