BNP blames “ruling party-backed miscreants” for slum fire

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Dhaka, Nov 26: Terming mysterious the fire incidents in three slums of the capital in 27 hours, BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Thursday alleged that the “ruling party-backed miscreants” did it in an effort to grab land.

“The fire incidents in Pallabi’s Baunia Dam Slum, Mohakhali Sat Tola Slum and Bihari Patti Slum in Mohammadpur within 27 hours are mysterious. The victims think the slums have been set on fire by ruling party-supported plotters to establish their control over illegal drug trading and extortion there and made crores of taka by indulging in an evil process of grabbing and counter-grabbing of land,” he said.

In a statement, the BNP leader said many low-income people have become helpless as they lost their homes, money and all valuables, clothes and even the cooking utensils to the fire amid the current corona situation. “They’re now leading a very inhuman life under the open sky amid cold weather.”

Referring to newspaper reports, Fakhrul said though 953 fire incidents in different slums in Dhaka took place over the last three years, law enforcement agencies could not submit the chargesheet in any of the cases due to the “influence of the ruling-party backed land grabbers”.

He said land grabbers are amassing wealth and making huge money by setting fires to slums of the capital while helpless fire victims are running from one slum to another for shelter.

Fakhrul alleged that the government and law enforcement agencies are little concerned about the slum fire and the plight of the victims. “Such inaction can be called an act of crimes against humanity.”

He said the fire victims are being deprived of assistance and cooperation despite facing extreme danger due to the absence of a government and city authority elected by the people. “The fire victims have not yet received any relief supplies from the government.”

The BNP leader urged the government to identify those involved in the fire incidents and put them on trial.

He also called upon the government for ensuring permanent rehabilitation of the low-income fire victims and providing them with necessary financial support.