Bangladesh opposition leader Khaleda Zia was on Wednesday charged by the police with ‘instigation’ of the fire-bombing of a bus that left 7 people dead amid escalating political crisis in the country that has claimed 60 lives within a month.
At least seven passengers, including two women, were charred to death on Tuesday when suspected opposition activists hurled petrol bombs on a packed bus in eastern Bangladesh, the worst attack during the current spate of political unrest.
“She has been named as an instigator of the attack,” district police chief Tutul Chakrabarty.
Former Comilla MP and central Jamaat-e-Islami leader Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher has been also accused in the case, Charkavarty was quoted as saying by bdnews.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) chief Zia has already been named as the instigator in two incidents of arsons, including the one at Dhaka’s Jatrabarhi, which left one dead and 30 others injured.
A total of 56 BNP and Jamaat activist have been accused in both cases while another 15 to 20 unidentified people have also been charged, police officer Uttam Chakravarty said.
Meanwhile, two protesters were gunned down in a predawn encounter at the capital’s Jatrabari area and police said they detained another such person for exploding a bomb at Shahjahanpur area in the city, Elite anticrime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) said.
“He (third saboteur) is now being treated at Dhaka Medical College Hospital under our custody,” a policeman said.
RAB officials meanwhile said the two saboteurs were killed instantly as the members of the elite anti-crime unit were forced to use gunshots after a patrol car of their came under “petrol bomb attacks”.
“When the (RAB) patrol vehicle slowed down, a petrol bomb was lobbed first and as our personnel got off, the miscreant fired gunshots and we retaliated,” a RAB spokesman said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina last week asked law enforcement agencies to take “take any action to be deemed necessary” to keep the law and order situation under control and ensure public safety, saying, “I am giving you this much liberty to do it.”