Ex-BNP leader Shahjahan Omar mired in fresh gun controversy after getting AL ticket

Shahjahan and a local BNP leader carry guns during a meeting in Jhalakathi

Jhalakathi Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 4 Dec 2023, 08:52 PM
Updated : 4 Dec 2023, 08:52 PM

Shahjahan Omar, a former BNP state minister who ignited a debate by becoming an Awami League candidate in parliamentary polls, has kicked up fresh controversy by carrying a gun in a meeting.

A local leader of the BNP also held a gun during the meeting with ruling party activists at the premises of Kathalia Government Pilot High School in Jhalakathi on Monday

The district election inquiry committee later issued a notice, asking Shahjahan to explain within Wednesday why he should not face legal action.

Returning Officer and Deputy Commissioner of Jhalakathi Farah Gul Nizhum did not take phone calls for comments.

District Election Officer Ohiduzzaman Munshi was also unreachable.

Shahjahan told reporters that it was his licensed gun. “Don’t I need protection?”

When asked why he needed gun protection, he said, “It was an unintentional mistake. This won’t happen again.”

The electoral code of conduct bars any person from carrying firearms without the approval of the commission.

On Monday, Shahjahan arrived at the school at noon, accompanied by Zakir Hossain, general secretary of Jhalakathi Awami League, and Abdul Jalil Miyaji, president of the BNP in the district. 

Miyaji held a gun throughout the meeting.

Shahjahan became a Member of the Parliament for Jhalakathi-1 constituency for the first time in 1979 when the BNP was founded.

From 1991 to 2018, he had been standing in the national elections as a BNP candidate, except for 2008.

In 2016, the opposition party named Shahjahan its vice-chairman.

On Nov 5, the Shahjahan was arrested in a case of arson following the police-BNP clash during its Oct 28 rally in Dhaka.

The former BNP leader was granted bail one day before the deadline for nomination submission.

On Nov 30, the ruling party chose Shahjahan as its candidate for the Jhalakathi-1 seat.

Earlier, a person was seen carrying a gun in the Nov 29 procession led by Textile and Jute Minister Golam Dastgir Gazi, a candidate for the Narayanganj-1 constituency.

Rupganj Awami League leader Golam Rasul Koli said the person was his bodyguard.

The district administration afterwards recommended revoking the licence for the firearm.