Islamic terror spreads in Bangladesh. From the Daily Star via Asia News Network, with thanks to Twostellas:
For the Bangladeshi-born British envoy, Anwar Chowdhury, the forenoon of May 21 started without any clue of what was in the offing. It was 1:35 and a huge crowd of people greeted Anwar, as he was about to leave the Shrine of Shahjalal after saying Friday prayers. But as the envoy, only 18 days into his new job, reached the exit door of the 700-year-old tomb, a bearded man in his early forties halted the High Commissioner’s way. “The man was telling Anwar to give him some money,” recalls Advocate Abdul Hai Khan, Anwar Chowdhury’s grandfather and a witness to the mayhem that would follow.
Khan was helping the envoy out of the melee and he smelled a rat when the man did not get out of their way after repeated requests. “I grew suspicious. I looked up at him; the man was well built and was wearing a fashionable Comillar fatua,” he says. This man cannot be a beggar, Khan thought; so when the High Commissioner told Khan to give the “beggar” 100 Taka, he said, “Just look at him Anwar, this person is not at all a beggar.” Don’t be so rude nana, Anwar replied. Khan, in turn, obliged his grandson; the Sylhet-based lawyer reached down for his purse and handed the beggar a hundred-Taka note.
But within seconds, a grenade was thrown at the British High Commissioner; the bomb hit the parameter wall of the shrine as he threw it up after it bumped on his lower abdomen. “Anwar told me, ‘Nana, save me; they have thrown a bomb at us’,” Khan recalls. “Within a few seconds,” he continues, “there was a huge bang; we both fell on the pavement; and I saw blood rolling on the ground from the High Commissioner’s body.”
Though no one has claimed responsibility for the attack; Advocate Abdul Hai Khan believes it was not at all unexpected. Only months ago, Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) MP Delwar Hossain Saiedi urged a gathering at the nearby Alyah Madrasah field to resist what he called bedat (heretical activities) in the shrine. Four days later, on January 12, a bomb was exploded at the shrine. The police arrested 24 people in connection to the blast; a probe body was formed headed by the superintendent of the police. But that committee’s report has not yet seen the light of the day despite repeated extensions of time. No progress has also been made on nine other blasts that rocked the north-eastern city since 1997 and have claimed 14 lives.
In the last five years 140 have been killed and around 1,000 injured in several bomb blasts that ripped through different public places across the country. Whoever the perpetrators are, says security expert Brig-gen Shahedul Anam Khan, the intention was to create panic and reap political dividend of these blasts. Khan believes the subsequent governments’ failure to nab the culprits means, “either we are not capable of doing it or the major political parties do not want to see the culprits on the dock.”
Hmm. Why might that be?