Awami League, allies accused of attacks on election rivals in six districts

The Awami League and its allies have been accused of attacking their electoral rivals during campaigning in different districts.

Published : 16 Dec 2018, 07:41 PM
Updated : 16 Dec 2018, 07:51 PM

The attacks were reported from Chattogram, Tangail, Bagerhat, Narayanganj, Laxmipur, and Narsingdi on Sunday.

However, an Awami League candidate’s campaign office came under attack allegedly by a rebel candidate’s supporters while clashes between a ruling party candidate and that of the BNP were reported in Bhola.

Leaders of the BNP and its Jatiya Oikya Front alliance blamed the ruling party for the attacks two weeks before the polls.

Oikya Front chief Dr Kamal Hossain has doubted that the Dec 30 elections will be free and fair if such incidents continue.

“There is definitely a fear that the polls will not be held free and fair. They (govt) are finding out what the people want. You (reporters) can also find out if you want,” said Dr Kamal.

BNP leaders who frequent the Election Commission with complaints of arrests and attacks have said police are not obeying the commission’s orders.

The party has reiterated its demand for troops deployment immediately for the sake of fair polls.

“We’ve demanded immediate army deployment as police are not listening to the puppet commission,” Selima Rahman, a vice-chairperson of the party, told the media after submitting their complaints at the commission on Sunday.

BNP Vice-Chairperson Selima Rahman speaking to the media after meeting EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed.

In Chattogram, at least eight supporters of Abdullah Al Noman, the BNP candidate for Chattogram-10, were allegedly injured in an attack on their Victory Day programme.

Noman, a vice-chairman of the party, pointed the finger at his rival candidate with the Awami League’s ‘boat’ symbol Afsarul Amin MP for the alleged attack at Halishahar Naya Bazar bend in the port city.

He also alleged that the attack was an attempt on his life and police did nothing to prevent the attack, but detained five of his supporters later.

The Victory Day programme of BNP candidate Abdul Moyeen Khan also allegedly came under attack in Narsingdi.

Moyeen, a BNP Standing Committee member, blamed the ruling Awami League for the attack, which occurred in the district’s Panchdona Bazar area.

However, local Awami League leaders were not available to respond to the allegations against them but some of the party’s activists were recognised chanting ‘Joy Bangla’ slogans and carrying rods.

Moyeen Khan is running in the Dec 30 election as the paddy-sheaf candidate from the Narsingdi-2 constituency. Anwarul Ashraf Khan is the Awami League candidate for the seat. 

Moyeen Khan's leaflets on the ground after the alleged attack

Ousted Awami League minister Abdul Latif Siddique, who is running for the Tangail-4 seat as an independent candidate, alleged attack on his motorcade by supporters of ruling party candidate Hasan Imam Khan Sohel Hazari.

Latif Siddique staged a sit-in in front of the returning officer’s office and stayed until late night saying he would not return before the arrest of the attackers.

He also demanded withdrawal of the Kalihati Police Station OC alleging police remained silent during the attack.

MA Salam, the BNP candidate for Bagerhat-2, alleged attack on his motorcade by supporters of the Awami League’s Sheikh Abu Naser Tonmoy.

He and at least six of his supporters were injured and four cars were vandalised in the attack, Salam said.

The supporters of Jatiya Party candidate Salim Osman attacked and foiled a meeting of BNP candidate SM Akram in Narayanganj.

Akram, who is running for the Narayanganj-5 seat, said Salim’s supporters took control of the venue and held a meeting after the attack.

The Jatiya Party is contesting in the election under the umbrella of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance.

Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal-JSD Vice-President Tania Rab said the supporters of Bikalpadhara Bangladesh candidate Abdul Mannan attacked two campaign offices of JSD President ASM Abdur Rab in Laxmipur’s Ramgati.

Bikalpadhara, which leads the Jukto Front coalition, has joined the election under the Grand Alliance.

Rab has received the Jatiya Oikya Front’s ticket to contest with the BNP’s ‘paddy sheaf’ logo for the Laxmipur-4 seat.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher