Detectives yesterday arrested three leaders and activists of BNP-affiliated bodies on charges of being directly involved in torching a bus in the capital's Paltan on November 12.
The Detective Branch's Motijheel division identified the trio from photos and security camera footage.
They were arrested in separate drives around 5:00am in Paltan and Khilgaon areas, said Deputy Commissioner Asaduzzaman.
The arrestees are Md Leon Haq, 30, former organising secretary of Paltan Jubo Dal; Kazi Rezaul Huq Babu alias Gym Babu , 28, former joint secretary of Paltan Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal; and Md Azad , 28, Paltan Jubo Dal activist, police said.
Leon led the group and Babu set the bus on fire, they said.
At least 11 vehicles were torched on November 12 at different places in the city and 16 cases were filed in connection with the arson attacks with different police stations.
Several hundred people, mostly leaders and activists of BNP and its associated bodies were accused in the cases.
More than 50 people have already been arrested in cases where police said the buses were torched and subversive activities were carried out at the directives of central leaders and the defeated BNP candidate of Dhaka-18 constituency.
DB's Motijheel division is investigating four of the cases filed with Paltan and Motijheel police stations.
Additional Commissioner of DB AKM Hafeez Akter at a press conference yesterday said around 12:30pm on November 12, some leaders and activists of Chhatra Dal, Jubo Dal and Swechchhasebak Dal launched a sudden procession in front of the BNP central office at Naya Paltan.
The procession turned chaotic after it came back in front of the BNP office, he added.
Reviewing and analysing pictures and video footage of print and electronic media and surveillance cameras, it was seen that the arrested arsonists set fire to a government staff bus of Tax Zone-10 parked in front of the BNP office with the help of their associates, he added.
"We will seek remand for the three arsonists to get information about the masterminds," DC Asaduzzaman said.
Afroza Parveen Zeba, sister of Leon Huq, claimed that her brother was innocent. She also claimed that she saw the CCTV footage and her brother was not seen in it.
She added that a group of people claiming to be law enforcers picked up Leon from his Khilgaon residence around 12:30pm on November 17. The family did not know his whereabouts since then.
A relative of Gym Babu said Babu was picked up from his Fakirapool office on Wednesday (Nov. 18) and he was missing since then.