Hasina Regime’s Violence, Subterfuge, and False Flag Operations: an Analysis of 28 October Incident and the Aftermath Crackdown

This article is is to bring to your attention the responsibility borne by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, her party, the Awami League (AL), and their associates within the Bangladesh Police for orchestrating a series of violent attacks on and around the pro-democracy grand rally of the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) on October 28, 2023. The overarching objective of the actions taken by Hasina and her heavily politicized state machinery was to disrupt and stain the BNP’s unparalleled and entirely nonviolent democratic movement, which was holding the largest mass rally in decades.

Hasina had the threefold objective: first, undermining the BNP’s peaceful and nonviolent demonstrations by inciting controversial clashes and confrontations; second, spreading widespread fear and intimidation among millions of opposition grassroots and followers through violent attacks; and third, ensnaring the BNP leaders and key activists in fabricated, high-stakes legal cases in a vain effort to deter us from the ongoing movement to restore democracy.

As a fundamental matter, BNP unequivocally condemns the violence that has overtaken Bangladesh since October 28. As a responsible and democratic party, BNP has consistently urged the Hasina Government to resolve our differences via negotiation, only to be met by derision and japes by Hasina and other prominent AL leaders. The regrettable loss of every life and any act of violence is deeply sorrowful. We strongly urge the Hasina Government to step away from its current approach of using violence and coercion as means to maintain power, relying on authoritarian and anti-people methods.

Furthermore, all must recognize the fundamentally deceptive actions of the Hasina government on that day, both in orchestrating the attacks and falsely attributing them to the BNP, essentially initiating a series of false flag operations. Given that the struggle against misinformation and fake news is a pressing concern for governments around the world, we urge you to keep in mind how contemptuous a regime must be for truth, accountability, and democratic norms before it undertakes such a massive number of malevolent actions.

You will find below detailed elaboration regarding how the Hasina regime: willfully sabotaged and attacked the BNP’s completely peaceful and festive rally on October 28; was behind the attack on the residence of the Chief Justice; committed arson by setting fire to buses and other vehicles; and even contemplated heinous acts like attacks on a temple and a church. These facts are now established beyond a doubt, as evinced by leaked police recordings and investigative reporting. We have found irrefutable evidence that the AL and the members of politicized law enforcement agencies have been jointly conducting a reign of terror, burning vehicles and properties since October 28.

False Flag Operation on October 28:

In the last several months, every time BNP announced any program to mobilize people, AL also announced a program on the same date and wanted to create mayhem. BNP carefully avoided these provocations and arranged several grand rallies in Dhaka and massive divisional rallies in the major cities of Bangladesh. Despite facing continuous arrests, harassment, attacks, and the loss of its activists, BNP always emphasized the peaceful nature of its response.

The Hasina regime and its politicized law enforcement agencies devised false flag operations using masked individuals who were ruling party thugs. As a part of the pre-planned strategy, they decided to attack the Chief Justice’s residence and deliberately set fire to their own requisitioned buses and parked cars in front of the Police Hospital. Masked individuals and hired goons killed a member of the police; while a relief platoon of police, who were nearby, did not come forward to rescue him.

Chronology of the AL Master Plan:

  1. The AL regime and its politicized police members started their false flag operation at the Kakrail intersection, which was far from the New Paltan, the venue of the grand rally. They predicted that the place would be at the end of several hundred thousand people’s gathering. They kept their goons ready. A vehicle of former mayor of Gazipur Jahangir Alam arrived at the Kakrail intersection with his followers. As AL’s venue was in a different direction, why this vehicle was brought to this specific spot should be questioned and investigated.[1]
  2. A video captured by an eyewitness clearly showed that a group of individuals who were seen with the police started the violence by damaging the vehicles.[2] The individuals attacked the vehicle of Jahangir Alam. A carefully orchestrated skirmish broke out, and from there, the residence of the chief justice was attacked. The house guard of the Chief Justice and the platoons of police present nearby did nothing.[3]
  3. The Police, including Joint Commissioner Biplob Kumar Sarkar, arrived at the scene and ordered the police to attack, but not the individuals involved in the violence, but on the BNP activists who were on their way to the rally with small processions. So, instead of detaining the individuals involved in the original violence, and containing the violence at the Kakrail intersection, the police, according to their preplanned ill-motive, started to attack the unarmed people at the BNP rally, who were not in any way involved in the attack. They started to charge thousands of sound grenades, tear shells, and rubber bullets on the unarmed protesters who were far from the area where the violence started.
  4. As part of the predetermined plan, vehicles were torched or damaged inside the premises of the heavily guarded area, including the Police Hospital and in front of the Chief Justice’s residence. Leaked radio conversations between police officers on the ground and headquarter revealed this horrific plan:
    • The false flag operation devised a plan to attack the religious institutions to blame BNP for communal violence. The Inspector General of Police was repeatedly asking the police officers on field if the Kakrail Church or Siddheshwari Temple had been attacked. The police or individuals responsible for the task could not manage to carry out such attacks, thankfully. [4]
    • It is revealed that the police forces were instructed to fire indiscriminately on the protesters. One leaked radio conversation underscored: “Don’t just fire (shoot), follow a system when you fire, make sure that the fire keeps you safe (suggesting to avoid future legal consequences) fire that way sir, fire one after another.”[5]
    • Police’s radio conversation also reveals how brutally they conducted attack on activists. Duty police officers are reporting to their control room that ‘Armored Personnel Carrier’ were out of ammunition.[6] [7]
  1. The AL goons and politicized members of the police force torched several vehicles and buses. In a leaked video footage, the driver of a burning vehicle clearly says that the Police/ Detective Branch (DB) have set the vehicle on fire.[8] His statement is backed by his assistant.[9] In another case, in Malibagh, another bus is set on fire by men wearing police uniforms. The assistant Shadhin’s statement proves it.[10]

False Flag Operation since October 28:

Persisting in their deceitful false flag operation, the AL regime and its politically influenced police members continue to set buses ablaze and damage properties amid the ongoing blockade. Using these incidents as a tool of political harassment, countless cases have been lodged nationwide, with BNP leaders and activists at every level – from central figures to local supporters – being unfairly implicated in politically motivated charges, ranging from murder and arson to vandalism and treason. This relentless onslaught underscores the deliberate harassment and attacks orchestrated by AL against BNP, aimed at crippling the opposition.

However, in a video footage of a national daily, it has been found that an eyewitness from the Press Club area challenged the bus driver’s false claim that BNP men torched his bus, who was seen getting instructions from a plainclothes police official. The eyewitness stated that five youth belonged to Awami League’s student wing torched the bus.[11] It has been also found that local ruling party leaders wore police vest and joined in the attack with the police.[12] The AL thugs also torched more than fifty buses to sabotage the pro-democracy movement.

AL’s History of Torching Buses:

Regrettably, the AL has a history of orchestrating bus burnings for political gains, as it aligns with their agenda to sow discord and exploit these situations for their own advantage.

  1. In 2014, three members of AL’s student wing Chhatro League were detained while torching buses.[13]
  2. On February 22, 2015, two AL’s student wing Chhatro League were captured with molotov cocktails and petrol-bombs.[14]

3. On February 6, 2015, police set free two Awami Juba League activists a few hours after they were arrested with            petrol bombs in Comilla.[15]

  1. In November 2006, AL set fire to trains and buses, attacked transport workers, leaving one man dead.[16]
  2. 5. In 2014, AL and member of Parliament Pankaj Debnath instructed to set fire on his own bus line, Bihanga Paribahan, with petrol. The fire killed eleven people.[17]

Attack on Garment Workers:

When the garment workers, advocating for fair wages, bravely stepped onto the streets, they were met with vicious attacks orchestrated by the Awami League and its activists. Resorting to their typical brutality, they aimed to crush the protesters’ voices and deny their legitimate call for just earnings. Police has killed at least two ready-made garment workers and injured hundreds.[18] Local Juba League leader in Dhaka, Awlad Hossain was seen with a gun and firing at the workers on October 31. Several Chatro League members also attacked the garment workers with clubs, machetes, and local weapons.[19]

Opposition Crackdown on Framed Cases:

The Hasina regime and its politicized law enforcement agencies have been conducting these false flag operations to create the context of violence to blame and frame the BNP for the crimes they themselves committed. Thus, through premeditated acts of sabotage like burning buses and vehicles, vandalizing public and private properties, and even causing harm to police officers, the AL regime, as the beneficiary of such incidents, manufactures a pretext to arrest and torture pro-democracy leaders and activists.

In the ongoing movement for the restoration of democracy and voting rights, the BNP has organized regional gatherings across Bangladesh and two grand rallies in the capital, Dhaka, since July 2022, with the presence of millions of citizens. The convergence of people in these gatherings is unprecedented in Bangladesh’s political history. People from all walks of life and professions, whether by bus, train, walking, crossing rivers, and enduring hardships, have joined our rallies with resilience and determination.

The ordinary citizens have actively engaged in these events, demonstrating their support for BNP’s legitimate one-point demand. The unity of common people with BNP’s mission to reclaim people’s power has served as an inspiration for all democratic parties in Bangladesh. This collective effort has underscored that BNP’s initiative to restore democracy aligns with the aspirations of the masses.

In a bid to obstruct the BNP’s movement and alarmed by our strong connection with the pro-democratic citizens of Bangladesh, the authoritarian rule of Sheikh Hasina, wielding control over manipulated law enforcement agencies and the judiciary, has ruthlessly detained thousands of BNP activists, including prominent leaders like Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, Mirza Abbas, Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Air Vice Marshal (retd) Altaf Hossain Chowdhury, Barrister Shahjahan Omar, Syed Moazzem Hossain Alal, Zahiruddin Swapon, Aminul Haq, among numerous others. Since October 28, a nationwide crackdown has led to the arrest of almost 8,000 opposition figures. [20] The opposition leaders, including the elderly and physically ill ones, were put into repeated and multiple days of remands, which gave the police more scopes to torture them.[21]

The opposition leaders and pro-democracy activists have been charged in thousands of fictitious cases; even cases were filed against the activists who were killed by police more than one year ago.[22] The police have also conducted targeted raids on the houses of party leaders and activists, and harassed family members when they could not find them. In one such incident, the twin sons of Kishoreganj municipality unit BNP president Aminul Islam Ashfaque were arrested after the police failed to find him during a raid on his house.[23]

Is it remotely plausible that these highly respected BNP leaders, representing the pro-democracy voice in Bangladesh, are all involved in violence and collaborate to orchestrate arson attacks? Such political accusations and farcical cases vividly illustrate Hasina’s tactics to silence opposition dissent, dismantle the BNP, and create an environment where opposition leaders cannot lead normal lives. All of this is done to stifle people’s voices, instill fear, and quash any demand for fair, credible, and participatory elections in the country.

The fascist AL regime, led by Hasina, has employed vicious sabotage tactics to achieve their nefarious goal of creating chaos and violence while cunningly deflecting blame onto the BNP. In the face of this orchestrated cruelty, we stand firm, fueled by our unwavering passion for justice and democracy. We will not be silenced. We will continue to expose the regime’s lies and atrocities, voicing our dissent against the Hasina regime’s malevolent actions. Our commitment to a democratic Bangladesh remains unshakable, and we will persist in our fight for truth, justice, and a brighter future for our nation.





[3]ওয়্যারলেসেবারবারকীজানতেচাওয়াহচ্ছিল (mzamin.com)










[13]বাসেআগুনেরচেষ্টা, ছাত্রলীগের৩নেতা-কর্মীআটক (prothomalo.com)



[16] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2006/11/12/bangladesh-rocked-by-new-protests

[17] (see The Daily Star, 13 September, 2022 and Manabzamin, 24 May 2017) পঙ্কজদেবনাথনিজপরিবহনেআগুনদিয়েমনোনয়নবাগিয়েছিলেন (archive.org)



[20] https://www.voanews.com/a/report-bangladesh-arrests-8-000-opposition-activists/7342274.html#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20BNP%2C%20those,minister%20and%20air%20force%20chief.

[21] https://www.tbsnews.net/bangladesh/crime/amir-khasru-zahir-uddin-6-day-remands-732398

[22] https://mzamin.com/news.php?news=82000

[23] https://www.newagebd.net/article/216840/families-face-harassment-arrest