January 3, 2024
DHAKA – A group of battery-run rickshaw drivers attacked and vandalised the “Abahani Math Police Box” in Dhaka’s Dhanmondi area around 4:30pm today, resulting in injuries to two policemen.
The Daily Star reporter, Shaheen Mollah, arrived at the scene around 6:30pm to gather information. At least 20 policemen stood guard there. However, things almost took a dark turn when an accidental shot from a police narrowly missed him.
Contacted, Parvez Islam, officer-in-charge of Dhanmondi Police Station, said he was not aware of the incident and was looking into it.
Below is the first-hand account of Shaheen Mollah:
Arriving at the scene, I engaged in conversations with nearby shop owners, police personnel, and witnesses to gather details about the rickshaw drivers’ attack on law enforcement.
Some policemen were working inside the vandalised police box to clear broken glass and retrieve scattered belongings.
I began photographing the damaged police box while standing near its door, observing two street children eagerly waiting to collect salvageable items. Approximately two yards behind, two constables were handling a firearm, likely a rifle, amidst other equipment.
Suddenly, I heard a loud bang and sensed something passing me by. To my utter disbelief, I saw a bullet shell dangerously close to my feet.
In the midst of chaos, even nearby police personnel started to panic. When an officer inquired the constables about what just happened, one of them replied, “Sir, I didn’t know the firearm was loaded; it was an accident.”
Soon, I gathered myself and decided to enquire about the incident.
As I went towards the constables, I saw that they were being escorted away by their colleagues.
Police did not allow further inspection.
So, I decided to carry on with my work.
I spoke to cops, witnesses and some drivers and eventually filed a story about the attack on the police box.