Is Bangladesh In Grip of Conspiracy Too?

A new ‘Genocide’ and the evolution of a ‘Lady Hitler” in Bangladesh”, screamed a message on a yahoo group. I was aware that a tribunal was deciding cases of heinous crimes committed by Bangladeshi Islamist, who had collaborated with Pakistani army in the then East Pakistan’s 1971 struggle for independence. As  death sentences began to be awarded to prominent leaders of *Jamaat-e-Islami*, the party followers started protesting violently. 28 February saw violent clashes that had claimed some 70 lives. I gathered this would be the context in which  above headline had been situated. Usually I would ignore such sensationalism  putting it down as sheer nonsense and waste of time. The link provided though made me sit up and take note. It came from one of the peddlers of “official” news, CNN.com. I decided to follow the link, and was encountered by this photo.
The pages announces “CNN iREPORT”. The author is identified as Pathik Rasel. He says, “On the night of 6th May 2013, the allied government forces attacked the sleeping protesters who earlier gathered around the Shapla Chattar… Hours before the attack, the electricity supply was cut down, and the media men were removed. The allied forces comprising of the Police, RAB and BGB attacked on the innocent civilians… There were indiscriminate shooting killing more than a thousand lives, as the eye witnesses assume. Many have sees dozens of trucks of dead bodies being carried away by the government forces in order to dispose of them!“. Many links are given at the bottom of Rasel’s post to buttress his “account”. One of the links takes to a Face Book page that has gruesome photographs of bloody deaths. Another link takes to Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC). Going by the name and general look, it appears to be a respectable and responsible organization/ site. While admitting that the extent of the injuries and death is “difficult to be ascertained” at the moment, it had the gall to add, “The Daily Star, a Bangladeshi newspaper, gave the figure of deaths as 5. However, several internet reports have mentioned that the number of deaths could be as high as 2,500 or more“. Pathik Rasel’s CNN iREOPRT figure of “more than a thousand lives”, has ballooned to “as high as 2,500 or more” in AHRC account. Former cites loopy “eye witnesses assume” to latter’s “several internet reports”. Both are equally vague as to the source.  AHRC also reports that ” Pictures of dead bodies have also been distributed over the internet”. This is true. Google image search or Tin eye  image search (of these images) threw up links mostly to Face Book or Twicsy.Com sites, and it was largely the “endeavour” of “interested” “individuals.  However, I admit I could not find any evidence that photos have been morphed or are of some totally unrelated events, like it happened when rape and death of a 11 year Chakma tribe girl in Bangladesh was passed of as an atrocity on Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar, or scores of Tsunami victims in Indonesia were again passed off as killings in Myanmar and North East India. The highly inflammatory and dangerous campaign by “vested interests” propagated through social media succeeded  last August in triggering spate of attacks in Pune, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai on Indians from North East, and a Muslim rally organised in Mumbai on 11 August turned violent after provocative speeches were made from the dais. (For more read here, here, and here).
Rasel goes on to enlist the support of “celebrated” CNN reporter, Christiane Amanpour, “Bangladesh government has stopped and restricted many international news media organizations from reporting from the ground in Bangladesh, as Christiane Amanpour confirmed this during a recent interview of the Bangladesh Prime Minister Hasina with her. Hasina, being outrageous, denied the claims in a very rude and harsh manner“. I saw the video. Hasina is neither “very rude” or “harsh mannered”, though she does reply like any seasoned and evasive politician that she is. Mischievous embedding of this video is totally out of context. CNN it seems was denied access or was being offered highly conditional and controlled access, but that was in the wake of extremely tragic man-made tragedy of building collapse in which death toll has hit the 1000 mark. See the Amanpour interview below.
When one checks out links provided to mainstream media sites, who wouldn’t like to be caught relying on totally unconfirmed and exaggerated reports; no corroboration of the “feverish”writing of Rasel or “careless” reporting of AHRC is found. But before we do that a report from a Bangla Paper- Dinkal24: “Having no option they fired tear shells and rubber bullets targeting Hifazat men from the side of Notre Dam College in Motijheel. Simultaneous attacks were launched from the Dainik Bangla intersection at around the same time… Hefajat-e-Islam Bangladesh ameer Allama Shah Ahmed Shafi on Sunday said their peaceful sit-in at the capital’s Shapla Chattar will continue until the 13-point demand is met.In a press statement, Shafi also urged the government to accept their 13-point demand without creating any confrontational situation. The statement claimed that three Hefajat activists were killed and over 300 injured in the brutal attacks by police and ruling parry cadres on their way to join the Shapla Chattar rally after peacefully observing their Dhaka siege programme“. If anyone feels that Dinkal24 is a flunkey of the government, then same paper has published most of the photographs that are doing the “rounds” on social networking sites.
Al Jazeera “Bangladesh clashes rage over blasphemy law“: “As violence moves beyond the Bangladesh capital the man at the head of the group that instigated the fatal protests was driven out of Dhaka under police escort. Allama Shah Ahmad Shafi was taken out of the Hifazat-e-Islam headquarters in Dhaka on Monday before being put on a plane to the second city Chittagong… Security forces got involved after what began as a scheduled demonstration exceeded its time limit and turned violent. Demonstrators attacked the headquarters of the ruling Awami League party, set fire to more than 100 shops and at least 50 parked cars, and vandalised many other buildings. Supporters of Hifazat-e-Islam group carried sticks and had blocked major entry points to the city, sealing off the capital. The security forces fired numerous rubber bullets and teargas when they launched the eviction drive“.
The Economist “Violence on the streets“: “THE ARMY was still counting the dead from Bangladesh’s biggest industrial disaster, when a massacre of hardline Islamic demonstrators unfolded in the early hours of May 6th. It took place in the commercial district of Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. At least 37 were killed and hundreds more injured in clashes between security forces and members of an extreme Islamic group, Hefajat-e-Islam. The final death toll is likely to be higher. Prothom Alo, a Bengali-language newspaper, suggested 49 had died, mostly outside of the capital. Security men were also killed, but most victims in Dhaka were from among the tens of thousands of demonstrators who had been ordered to leave the city in the middle of the night. These killings come barely two months after another massacre. At least 67 died in violent clashes after a war-crimes court, on February 28th, convicted a leader of Bangladesh’s biggest Islamist party of murder, abduction, rape, torture and persecution during the independence war of 1971. So far this year at least 150 people have died in clashes between hardline Islamists and the police“.
Now, how do these “stories” square off with the writings of Pathik Rasel? One has to take note that mainstream media is slow and conservative in reporting death toll in tragedies and in government’s massacres. But it wouldn’t dare to hide if 2500 or 1000 civilians had been killed in single night. 
Those of you who gave a hard look to the photo at the beginning or enlarged it by clicking on it, would have seen in top left hand corner, “NOT VETTED BY CNN”, and in bottom left hand corner the legend, “facebook.com/ProBangladeshis”. The Free dictionary gives following meanings for “to vet”: “check, examine, investigate, check out, review, scan, look over, appraise, scrutinize, size up“. If CNN did not do any of these things, then why the hell did it put up such likely incendiary post on its website? The post controversially claims twice that “on the night of the 6th May 2013, more than thousands of people were killed according to the innumerous(sic)eye witnesses“, and then compares it with “the dark night of the 25th March 1971, when the Pakistani Army killed hundreds of innocent freedom-thirsty Bangladeshi (then East Pakistani) civilians“. Most people don’t even read news item till the end, forget checking out the “links”. For such unwary and unsuspecting readers, the CNN stamp is like a gospel truth. Was CNN careless? Or is there a deeper conspiracy to destabilise South Asia, India? Don’t believe such “crap”?, then what do you make of this: “how the government supporters attended the protest earlier in disguise of Hefazat-i-Islam activist, and assisted the ‘Hindi speaking’ armed forces in the mass killing! How free are we in Bangladesh?! How would the ‘Hindi’ speaking armed forces carry out killing spree in a free state? We want Hasina to answer these!“.  Can anyone explain what “Hindi speaking armed forces” means? If that is not enough, then why are “Whites” having names like Morris are recycling such stories? In his video, he approvingly shows what Muslim Brotherhood as to say.
Is it a conspiracy of “Islamist” alone, or are they working in cahoots with “superior” powers? If Prime Minister Hasina’s government, even if “secular”, has used excessive force, killed unarmed civilians protesting peacefully or simply sleeping in public place, has acted with malice in partisan manner, then it should be held accountable and full force of law should apply. Until then, it won’t do to rumour-monger, but to wait for true facts to emerge.
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