Dear Mukto-Monas,

The Bengali New Year day is on the door. Happy new year to you all - 'Shubho Nababarsha'. My thoughts on this day are reflected in the following write up.

Ajoy Roy


Pahela Baishakh with a difference

-Ajoy Roy


Just one hour, BD time, away I am waiting for Pahela Baishakh of 1409 BS. But I am not celebrating it. It is a pahela Baishakh with a difference to me. My memory goes back to last year's event at Bata Mula of Ramna Green. The day was also a most pathetic day for me on personal level. While the horrific bomb blasting was taking place at the Batamul at the time when artists were ushering the first day of 1408 with the famous song of Rabindranath's 'Esho he Baishakh'


" Eso, Eso, Esohe Baishakh |

Tapasa nishwase mumursure dao uraye,

Batsarer abarjna duur hoye yak ||

Yak puratan smriti, yak bhule- yaoa geeti,

Ashrubaspa suduure milak ||


[ my apology to non Bengali muktomonas as I wouldn't attempt to translate the poem in English]


I was not at the Batamula. I was 5-Km away from batamul to a burning-ghat (cremation bank) - a place called 'Badeswari' about a kilometer from the Kamalapur Boudha Monastery. I was then putting my dear daughter in law on a fireplace to be burnt to ashes. We then assembled round the fireplace to pay our last tribute and respect to her as the fire was ignited. At that very moment we heard that severe bomb blasts took place at the Batmul function- some were killed on the spot and many severely injured. What a sad coincidence, I thought at that time. But let me not bore you with my personal loss. The loss of those lives on this august day is much more lamentable.


Lest we forget those unfortunate victims. No, we have not called them Shaheeds, as they were not as great as Zia. As I recall today on the verge of a new 'new year's day' the event was a direct challenge to our concept of Bengali-ism as against 'Bangladeshi'-ism , first coined by late Abul Mansur, then given a theocratic basis by a journalist named Khondakar Abdul Hamid (alias Marde-Momin ) and finally adopted by General Zia who later on through a martial law decree incorporated into our 72-Constitution. The term was coined in place of 'Bengali-ism' in order to indicate that "peoples Republic of Bangladesh ' is not a 'secular Bangla', on the contrary we are citizens of 'Muslim Bangla'. Whether it is a moderate Muslim Bangla or a Fundamentalist Muslim Bangla on that point we may debate but not on Muslim Bangla'. This is the basis of BNP political philosophy, system and policy. The BNP leadership including Begum Khaleda despise secularism as much as Sayeedi or Jamat leadership.


We have forgotten those who gave up their lives on that fearful day. AL government, at the fag end of their tenure, denounced it as action of pro fundamentalists. Secularists saw it as a challenge to secular values by the fundamentalist and obscurations force(s) that were gradually taking strong footing at the soil of Bangladesh. But the then opposition leader Khaleda Zia pictured it as AL's own transplantation. What kind of logic it is I did not understand then, nor do I understand her majesty's (our PM) language now.


But who were killed and injured on that day? Let us pay our tributes to them: 9 were killed on the spot and instantly, and another girl met her death at Dhaka medical college hospital on the following day. At least 30 persons were injured of whom 10 became disabled. But what happened next. That is a different story.


The Police case


Police on its own registered two cases: One in relation to killing, -, other one related to 'causing explosion in public place'. It is learnt that police within a very short time arrested 12 persons in connection of the case including a Madrasa teacher, Janab Akbar Hosain of Madani nagar Madrasa. According the police source the investigation was complete long time back and charge sheets on both cases are complete. But as green signal is not given by the higher police authority the investigation officer of DB, Mr. Akheteruzzaman could not submit it to the court. He said that to formulate charge sheets against the accused they have enough information, facts and witnesses. The investigation revealed sufficient proofs regarding involvement of 4 arrested persons. They are Moulana Akbar Hosain, Shaikh Farid, Abdur Rauf, and Mufti Abdul Hai. The main leader, according to police, Moulana Akbar admitted his involvement in that case and named four others. Police however failed to trace rest six.


With the change of power at the state level, the case was almost shelved. No further progress was mad except that all 12 accused were set free on bail(s). However the investigation officer is confident that he could submit the charge sheets the moment he gets green signal from his superior. He is waiting for their instruction. He further opined all arrested persons are fundamentalists, as they are opposed to observe Pahela Baishakh as the function is anti Islamic. In the mean while on the appeal of the accused persons to abandon the case as it lost its credibility, the high court issued an order to the lower court to keep suspended its proceedings so far this case is concerned.


According to the source of higher police authority, they are waiting the completion of the enquiry commission's findings, recently constituted by the government to probe into the event. Then the police would think of submitting charge sheets or starting fresh enquiry.


Constitution of Enquiry Commission


The BNP government recently constituted a 3 men commission headed by a retired justice of high court Janab Abdul Bari and two other members, Mr. Mustafizur Rahman, additional secretary of home, and Mr. AKM Kamaluddin, joint secretary, LGR ministry, The commission is to probe the event in order to identify the culprits and submit its recommendation within 30th September. But question is: is the commission capable of doing it. Do they have necessary means, techniques and methodology to bring to surface not only Ramna event but such other events including the bomb blast at Narayanganj AL office just a few days before election. Or it is just an eyewash and a device to save the fundamentalists from the law and justice. I wonder. As is reported, commission is facing enormous difficulty as except the relatives of the accused no body is coming forward to give evidence. The reason is clear - the people have no confidence on the commission.


Under this backdrop the pahela baisak is arriving. The government is preparing 'not to observe the day in an enthusiastic manner', but they are busy in obtaining a tight security at the Batamul. Begum Khaleda has taken over the action of the police. She is acting as Super IG-, now directing the police how to act and how not act, giving advice to IG, DIG', SP's and even sepoys how to control the law order situation. It seems we need no training institute, police academy, no