Activists of Jubo League, the youth wing of the Awami League, yesterday vandalised at least 17 buses and beat up some bus employees, allegedly over seeking extortion in Old Dhaka.
Witnesses said that some Jubo League men, led by Md Afjal – claiming to be Jubo League's acting organising secretary of Ward 43 under Sutrapur thana, torched several buses at Shakhari Bazar area around noon.
Police detained Afjal and one of his associates, Abdullah, from the spot.
Afjal said, “Juniors [of Jubo League] vandalised some buses over heated argument with the bus employees.”
“When our boys, on Sunday night, went to the bus employees for some buses for our programme, they assaulted two of them [Jubo League men] in front of the court,” he claimed.
Afjal also said, “We needed the buses to meet local lawmaker Kazi Firoz Rashid.”
Requesting anonymity, an employee of Supravat Paribahan told The Daily Star, “We did not assault any Jubo League men on Sunday night.”
“The attackers torched our bus counter and beat up two of our colleagues,” he said.
The Daily Star also talked to other bus employees in this regard. They claimed that at least 17 buses belonging to six companies were torched by Jubo League activists.
They also claimed that some local leaders of Dhaka south unit of Jubo League have been trying to extort them.
As the transport workers did not give them any money, the Jubo League men attacked them, they alleged.
However, considering their safety, they refused to disclose names of Jubo League leaders involved.
When contacted, Jubo League's Dhaka south unit General Secretary Rezaul Karim Reza told The Daily Star yesterday, “No Jubo League man of our unit is involved in any kind of extortion.”
“If any of our men are found involved in vandalism, we'll take necessary steps against them,” he said.
“The police detained two persons from the spot for vandalising some buses at Shakhari Bazar area and handed over to Kotwali Police Station,” Additional Commissioner of Lalbagh Division, Bodrul Hasan Riad, told The Daily Star.
“No case has been filed in this regard,” Mashiur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Kotwali Police Station, told The Daily Star at around 8pm yesterday.