Terming the attack on the Hindus in Thakurbari village of Rangpur Sadar inhuman, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir yesterday said the attackers, irrespective of their political affiliations, must be punished.
The Awami League always tries to put the blame on others if any such incident happens, but the fact is that the men of the ruling AL were involved in the attacks in Ramu and Nasirnagar, Fakhrul said this while visiting the village.
The Hindus always come under attack and they feel insecure whenever the AL is in power, he alleged.
Bangladesh is a country of communal harmony, but a few criminals are trying to damage the relations between the communities. Such conspiracy has to be prevented at any cost, the BNP leader said.
The BNP is planning to send a high-powered team to investigate the Thakurbari attack, said Fakhrul, demanding a judicial probe into the attack.
In reply to a question, the BNP secretary general said Organising Secretary of Jatiyatabadi Olama Dal Inamul Haque Mazedi's involvement in the attack was his personal offence; the party would not take the responsibility.
The BNP will always be with the people of Thakurbari village, which came under the attack on November 10.
About the upcoming national polls, Fakhrul said the AL was now planning to come to power by holding an election like that of January 5, 2014.
People in the country cannot tell the truth now. The AL is controlling the judiciary and the media, Fakhrul claimed.
The chief justice had to leave the country because he was vocal against irregularities, he alleged.
Later, the BNP leader distributed saris and lungis among the affected Hindus of Thakurbari village. Besides, Tk 10,000 was handed over to each of the families whose houses were torched during the attack.
The body which was formed to investigate the attack in Thakurbari village got seven more days to submit its report on Sunday.
Formed the day after the attack, the committee was scheduled to submit its report on Sunday.
Abu Rafa Mohammad Arif, additional district magistrate of Rangpur, who leads the three-member probe body, said they had appealed to Deputy Commissioner of Rangpur Muhammad Waheduzzaman for seven more days to submit the report as they could not complete the probe.
Ziaur Rahman, Rangpur Sadar upazila nirbahi officer, and Saifur Rahman, assistant superintendent (Sadar circle) of Rangpur police, are two other members of the probe committee.
Joynul Abedin, 66, a Jamaat leader and a member of Mominpur Union Parishad under Rangpur Sadar upazila, who was arrested in connection with the Thakurbari attack died at Rangpur Medical College Hospital (RMCH) on Sunday.
He was the ameer of Gopalpur union unit of Jamaat-e-Islami, said his daughter Munni Begum.
Police said Joynul became sick at Rangpur Central Jail early Sunday, and the jail authorities sent him to RMCH.
Local influential Muslims allegedly spread hatred against the Hindus of Thakurbari, claiming that Titu Chandra Roy of the village insulted the Prophet in a Facebook post. There had been a campaign in the area through loudspeakers in this regard for several days.
On November 10, a man was killed and 20 others were hurt after police fired rubber bullets and teargas shells as violence flared up in the village over the alleged Facebook post. At least 20 Hindu houses were torched and vandalised as religious zealots ran riot in the village.
Later, three cases were filed with Gangachara and Rangpur Sadar police stations in this connection.
Lawyers yesterday decided to appear for Titu in the court, said Rangpur Court Inspector Monoj Kumar.
No lawyer appeared for Titu in the court when police sought his remand on Saturday and Wednesday.