April 13, 2021

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No one has seen such destruction before

In Brahmanbaria, there is nothing left inside the municipal auditorium of Sursamrat Ustad Alauddin Khan. Five hundred and fifty chairs, 20 sets of sofas, 22 air-conditioning devices and everything has been burnt to ashes. The plaster of the walls is falling off in the heat of the fire. The Dhaka-covered auditorium is now witnessing a devastation that the people of Brahmanbaria have never seen before.

On March 26, on the day of the strike called by Hefazat-e-Islam, the activists and supporters of the organization set fire to the auditorium at Moulvipara in Brahmanbaria. At the same time, they also set fire to the four-storey municipal complex next door. Most of the items in the building, including eight cars and six motorcycles, were burnt.

Five days after the incident, they went to the spot last Saturday and found the burnt items scattered around. Municipality Secretary. Samsuddin was sitting on a tool outside the municipal complex building. He said in the first light, the attack was carried out at the speed of the storm, the officers and employees kept fleeing in different directions to save their lives. 10-12 people including him came out with their lives in their hands. Samsuddin said such an incident had never happened in the 153-year history of the municipality. All the old papers have been burnt.

There are signs of such destruction around the city of Brahmanbaria. The main target of the three-day violence from March 26 to 28 was government installations. At least 56 institutions and installations were attacked in the city. Of these, 31 government and semi-government institutions were attacked. Apart from this, there are 12 private institutions, three private educational institutions, a cultural institution, a temple, three private and party offices and seven houses of Awami League and Chhatra League leaders. Of these, 27 have been set on fire. As many as 13 people have been killed in clashes in Brahmanbaria in the last three days. This number is 15 as claimed by Hefazat-e-Islam.

The violence began on the afternoon of March 26. The Baitul Mukarram National Mosque after Friday prayers in the capital of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi sapharabirodhi workers protest over the religious parties and the ruling party activists clashed with police. As a result, four people were shot dead in a clash between police and protesting madrassa students in Chittagong’s Hathazari. Due to this news, students of different madrasas took to the streets in Brahmanbaria. They attacked and set fire to various places including the railway station.

On March 26, the last day of three days of violence, there were some youths wearing shirts and pants with the students of the madrasa. It has been seen in two footage of CC camera of Zila Parishad office and Anandamoyee Kalimandir. As soon as the main gate of the temple was broken, four CCTV cameras were smashed. According to the 30-second footage, the attackers included pajamas-Punjabi men, teenagers, youths wearing shirts and pants. Temple priest Jiban Kumar Chakraborty said the same.
District Superintendent of Police Anisur Rahman said the matter would be disclosed after the investigation.

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Irreparable damage to the burned organization
The attack and arson took place at Brahmanbaria railway station on March 26 at around 4 pm. The fire engulfed the stationmaster’s room, VIP room, on-duty master’s room, assistant master’s room and the train’s control panel. No train has stopped at the station since the incident.

Stationmaster said. Shoaib told Prothom Alo on Sunday that a total of 16 rooms were damaged. 7-8 cupboard filled tickets have been burnt. He said that even on January 12, 2016, the students of the madrasa were attacking and vandalizing the station. But this time the attack was much more destructive. He somehow survived.

Police Outpost No. 2 and the garage of the Superintendent of Police’s office, Civil Surgeon’s Office, District Fisheries Officer’s Office, Roads and Highways Office, Ansar and VDP offices, District Council post bungalows and temporary office of Indian contractor Afcon India were set on fire. One person was killed in the clash on that day.

The next day, March 26, there was a major clash and seven people were killed, but there was no attack on installations in the city. However, the Aruail police outpost in Sarail upazila was attacked, vandalized and set on fire.

The most destructive of the three days was the day of Hifazat’s strike on March 26. Five people were killed as police. The district council office was attacked this morning. Ten rooms and a garage on the ground floor of the building were set on fire. 9 rooms on the second floor were vandalized.
Visiting the district council office last Saturday, it was seen that the chief executive officer’s official Pajero car was burnt and lying like a skeleton. Bangabandhu’s mural in front of the council was also damaged.

Four of the 10 rooms on the ground floor of the council belonged to the district children’s academy. Children’s Affairs Officer Mahfuza Akhtar told Prothom Alo that most of the documents that had been preserved since its establishment in 1994 had been burnt. None of the CDs and other items kept for children survived.

The land office was attacked around 12 noon on the day of the strike. The Nezarat section on the ground floor of the new building, the rooms of two office assistants, the room of the surveyor and the room of the Upazila Assistant Commissioner (Land) have been burnt down. The new record section on the second floor is intact. The record room on the ground floor of the old building was also set on fire. The documents there have also been partially damaged. Assistant Commissioner (Land) ABM Mashiuzzaman told Prothom Alo that there were documents from the pre-independence period. All have been burnt to ashes. As a result, many people will suffer. Land grabbers will try to take advantage of it.

Brahmanbaria Shilpakala Academy, Water Development Board, Surasamrat The Alauddin Music Hall, Government Public Library, Shaheed Dhirendran were attacked and set on fire.

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