Writing this blog was extremely difficult. Because this blog forced me to watch part of some gruesome videos of public lynching and listen to some poor soul’s last cries for life and see beastly traits of mankind. In most cases I turned off the video during the chopping beating scenes. I apologize to AoD readers for posting these gruesome videos, although I guess most of you have already come across this videos through social media. I will strongly advise viewers discretion before watching the videos.
The first video clip is that of killing a Shibir activist at Paltan during infamous Logi Boitha rally called by Sheikh Hasina. Several people were beaten to death like this one being shown in the video clip.
It is clear from the audio narrative of the clip that Islami Chhatra Shibir is mourning this death and alleging that Awami League activists committed this heinous and gruesome act at direct order of Sheikh Hasina. Jamaat e islami Islami and Jamaat’s major political ally main opposition party and allied parties often bemoan this logi boitha killing and have long been demanding justice of the mindless public lynching. In the last 7 years no Awami League, 14 party, and so called ‘pro 71 forces’ activists and leaders were seen expressing despair at this killing and demanding justice. It seemed many folks even enjoyed the logi boitha killing as elimination of the poisonous snake called Shibir. Although in the video it is clearly seen who are publicly lynching the Shibir man, no justice or retribution of this killing has yet been attempted.
Now look at this video.
This video shows how an elected representative of people, a local government leader, Upazilla Chairman ( representing the people of one of total 460 Upazilla in Bangladesh), Mr Sanaullah Noor ( Nickname Babu), was chopped to death.
The event developed in this way. A mid-level opposition leader was supposed to visit the specific upazilla and this Upazilla Chairman, belonging to the opposition party, brought out a welcome procession with 15-20 of his supporters in the main thoroughfare of the Upazilla. Suddenly, in broad daylight, in front of thousands of onlookers and dozens of journalists, few dozens of activists of ruling party, armed with hatchets, axes, sticks, knives attacked the procession led by Mr Noor. As the procession dispersed under attack the attackers converged on the leader, Mr. Noor. As shown in this video, the attackers kept on beating Mr Noor, even when he was down in the street, bleeding profusely and begging for life. Some of the attackers took knives to cut the arteries at both arms and the tendons of both legs.
The group was led by Mr Zakir Hossain ( fade jeans, light shirt with a stick at hand), a leader of Awami League local chapter. At some point he is seen chasing a journalist attempting to take photos of the killing. nearly a dozen of journalists were brutally beaten during this event and were admitted to local hospitals with grievous injuries.
And before any investigation or charge sheet could be produced and when local administration seemed serious in identifying and apprehending all the killers this statement of PM totally buried any hope of a fair investigation and any justice. With Prime Minister Hasina’s direct support the suspected lead killer remained free of any harassment of law enforcement agencies and used all the state forces to grab the results of the election of Upazilla Chairmen went vacant after the death of Sanalullah Noor Babu.
Two and half years have passed, no one talks about the gruesome killing of Sanaullah Noor Babu anymore. Although Babu’s own party BNP and rightist political spectrum occasionally refer to this gruesome chilling killing to describe inhumane nature of ruling Awami League, no secular liberal center left political entity or personality ever talked about this nationally televised killing.
And here is the third video.
This took place in Fatikchhari Upazilla of Chittagong. Islami Chhatra Shibir enforced a general strike ( Hartal) and local Unit of ruling party took out an anti Hartal rally. As seen in this video, this motorcycle rally, armed with sticks, met resistance from Shaibir activists, altercations started – police remained inactive despite requests by the rally goers to shot at Shibir folks who allegedly vandalized rally vehicles. Apparently the Awami League rally at some point got overwhelmed by Shibir activists re-inforced by local villagers. All the motor bikes were burnt into ashes before three Awami League activists trapped in a local school were lynched – they were beaten and chopped to death nearly in the similar fashion the other two men in the above videos were killed. Their cries for help, begging fir life is clearly audible in the background.
Unlike other two killings, this killing stirred the emotion of our prime minister as well the whole ‘pro 71″ brigade. They inundated the social media scene, print media scene with heart wrenching bemoaning commentary. Mainstream newspapers published multiple follow up stories of the event and about the perpetrators. The PM as well as many of the commentators immediate compared the brutal Fatikchhari lynching with Pakistani Army brutality in 1971. The whole brunt of the state swept heavy-handed over the locality, under curfew, combing operations were conducted and every single possible suspect including the local government ( Union Parishad) chairman were arrested and sent to police torture/ interrogation cell for long duration. And in complete reversal of role – BNP, Jamaat and all of the center right political spectrum remained quiet about the gruesome killings.
As Awami League, center left secular liberal forces and “pro 71 Chetona” brigade rather felt happy at the above two lynchings, the center right conservative spectrum secretly felt satisfaction at this horrendous scene of lynching.
In 1994, killing groups of Rwandan Hutus, supported by the Hutu led Government and Army, took up machets against their ethnic Tutsi neighbors, started chopping men, women and children to death. By the end of the week, 500,000 to 1000,000 ethnic Tutsies were dead. In Bangladesh we are not divided by any ethic, religious or language barrier. We are all the same in culture, religion, race, creed, language. Yet some artificial division are driving us towards this Hutu Tutsi type blood thirsty animosity. In Rwandan conflict a big chunk of the victims were the moderate Hutus who tried to bring some sense and refused to take part in the mindless brutal chopping of their Tutsi neighbors. And in Bangladesh we are also seeing intense polarization forcing moderates to be with or against a side. We are letting our political faith triumph over our basic humane instincts, as a result we are making humanity the ultimate loser.