Panic continues to haunt the Hindus at Laxmichap, Beltoli and Dubachuri villages of Nilphamari Sadar upazila as perpetrators of December 12 attacks on the minority community are still at large and giving threat to the victims.
Three cases have been filed accusing several hundred people including 72 named ones in connection with the incidents of arson and plundering of the properties of Hindus and Awami League (AL) men and seriously injuring several people in the areas on December 12.
Jamaat-Shibir men let loose a reign of terror in the aforesaid villages on the night of December 12, apparently in reaction to the execution of Abdul Kader Molla, assistant secretary general of Jamaat-e-Islami, for crimes against humanity.
“About 500-600 Jamaat-Shibir men attacked my house at Dubachuri village at about 11:30pm on December 12. They set fire to our living rooms, kitchen and pile of harvested amon paddy at the yard. They also seriously injured my eldest son and plundered valuables,” said Shyam Charan Roy, 62, former chairman of Laxmichap union, also president of union unit of ruling AL.
Before this, the attackers set fire to 25-30 shops and warehouses of Hindus and AL men at Beltoli Haat of the union, he said.
As the attackers set fire to over a hundred shops and business set-ups of Hindus and AL men at Kachari Laxmichap Bazar of Laxmichap union, seven old trees in the area were also burnt, said police.
Narayan Chandra Roy, 38, son of Shayam Charan Roy, also complainant of a case filed on December 21, said, “After filing of the case, Jamaat-Shibir men started threatening me and other Hindus from hiding places of consequences like that at neighbouring Ramganj village of Tupamari union where five people were killed during their attack on the motorcade of local lawmaker Asaduzzaman Noor on December 14.
Investigation officer of the case, Sub Inspector Tapon Kumar Roy said police arrested seven people as suspects regarding arson and looting of shops at Kachari Laxmichap Bazar and Beltoli Bazar and houses at Dubachuri village.
“We have to go to affected areas in big armed contingents as the criminals are well organised. But it is not always possible as police have to remain busy in election related duties,” he said.
Locals, however, said the said seven people were actually arrested in the case filed for attacking the motorcade of Asaduzzaman Noor on December 14 and they were later shown arrested also in the cases for the December 12 crimes.
Contacted, ASP (Circle) of Sadar upazila Shafiur Rahman said, “Police is proceeding cautiously and trying to gather exact information to arrest the real criminals, avoiding harassment of innocent people. Patrol by joint forces comprising police, BGB and Rapid Action Battalion has been intensified in the affected areas.”