Political identities of the detainees is yet to be known
Police have apprehended five “BNP supporters” from different areas in Dhaka, in a case filed by Awami League supporters, for vandalizing an Awami League election office during a clash between the supporters of the ruling party and BNP.
Notably, the police have allegedly refused to record any cases from BNP, who claimed they were attacked first by Awami League supporters.
“The court has already approved a oneday remand for all of the apprehended -- Sohel, Tuhin, Faruk, Bilal and Munna-- even though the police asked for seven days,” said advocate Nurul Islam Zahid.
50 “BNP supporters” were named in the case, while 100 to 150 were anonymous in the case filed by Ward 39 Awami League Election Conducting Committee’s Secretary Maksud Ahmed.
BNP’s Election Steering Committee Secretary Abdus Salam confirmed to Dhaka Tribune that Chhatra Dal activist Abdur Rahim, on behalf of BNP, went to file a case with Wari Police Station.
He said: “We sent them to file a case but the police refused to record it. Later, our lawyers went to the police station and they took it then.”
The BNP leader alleged that a BNP supporter was also shot by an Awami League supporter in Ward 38 on Sunday afternoon.
“The whole of Wari is problematic. One Shanto was shot, in Ward 38. He is currently admitted at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital. Despite an operation, he is still senseless. They (BNP supporters) went to file a case reporting both incidents,” said Abdus Salam.
The BNP leader said a written complaint was submitted to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner by the party lawyers.
“An allegation was also sent to the returning officer,” he said.
Regarding the allegations from BNP, Wari Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Azizur Rahman refused to comment.
When DMP (Wari Zone) Deputy Commissioner Shah Ifthekar Ahmed was asked about the matter, he said: “This issue is not in my knowledge. No one told me about them not taking any case.”
Talking to Dhaka Tribune, BNP lawyer Monirul Islam said: “We are preparing to file a case. Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will go to court.”
Returning officer asks for investigation report
To investigate the clash and submit a report, a letter has been sent to the police from the returning officer’s office.
Returning office staff officer Masudul Haque told the media: “A report was sought from the Wari police station OC to learn about the incident and those who are responsible.”
Election Commissioner M Rafiqul Islam said: “If somebody attacks, action will be taken once it has been brought to our attention. If the returning officer receives any complaint about it from the local assistant returning officer and executive magistrate, he will look after the issue.”
“But if the issue is not brought to the attention of the returning officer or EC, or no complaint is filed, what can be done?” he asked.
He also suggested that such attacks or clashes are not violations of the code of conduct of elections. Rather, they are a criminal offence.
What happened during Sunday’s clash?
On Sunday afternoon, at least 10 people -- including journalists -- were injured in a clash between supporters of BNP-backed mayoral candidate for Dhaka South, Ishraque Hossain, and those of Awami League's Fazle Noor Taposh, during their respective election campaigns in Gopibag of Dhaka.
According to witnesses, several gunshots were heard during the clash. The two groups clashed with sticks and hurled bricks at each other. Several vehicles were also vandalized during the incident which lasted for around thirty minutes.
The situation was brought under control once police arrived at the scene.