Thirty miles from the centre of Bangladesh’s chaotic capital, Dhaka, the pace of life is quieter. At the Baroipara checkpoint, near the industrial area of Ashulia, stalls offer tea and snacks to local workers and visitors to a nearby public park.
At 7.30am on 4 November, five policemen were dropped off at the checkpoint for a day-long shift and sat down for tea on benches shaded by tall, slender sal trees. The attack was so sudden they could barely react. Their assailants rode up on motorbikes, dismounted and then struck out with machetes. Two of the policemen were badly injured. One bled to death on the dusty roadside.
Tea is no longer being served at Baroipara. “We have stayed shut out of fear,” said Shamsul Alam, the owner of one stall. “I’m scared. If a cop can be killed, who knows what can happen to common people like us?”