Rise of the phantom cases to stop the pro-democracy movement

In the last month, Police filed several false cases based on fictitious events against BNP men across the country. The party’s internal documentation suggests eight false cases were filed against BNP leaders and activists after attacking them and looting their houses before and after the February 25 mass march programme. The local media usually cite them as “Phantom Cases” because in most cases, the events based on which the cases were filed never took place.

According to a media report, more than 900 BNP leaders and activists, along with common people, have been sued in only 4 districts after the February 11 gathering where Police and Awami League cadres attacked BNP men without any provocation.

The spate of cases and arrests continued after the February 25th programme as well. Local media documented how Awami League men attacked BNP leaders and supporters in almost every division. Yet the Police filed cases against the victims of the attacks – BNP leaders and activists. In eight districts, 937 people were made accused in eight cases. Within days, 53 BNP leaders and activists landed in jail, according to BNP’s documentation. All the cases lacked merit and were based on fictitious incidents.

Secretary General of BNP, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, told the media that, “The government is playing the old game again, increasing the level of torture like harassment and the arrest of BNP leaders and activists in false and phantom cases and raiding their houses. The government is now desperate to eliminate BNP from the country.” (Prothom Alo, March 6, 2023)