The city corporation election is slated for Tuesday
BNP has alleged that law enforcement agencies are “predictably” harassing and arresting leaders and activists of the party and its allies in Gazipur ahead of the city corporation polls.
Sohrab Uddin, chief agent of BNP’s mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarker, submitted two complaints to Returning Officer Rakib Uddin Mondal in this regard on Monday afternoon.
Also the senior joint secretary of the party’s Gazipur district unit, Sohrab said: “What’s happening right now is exactly what we had feared before.”
In the complaint, he mentioned that the leaders and activists of the BNP-led 20-party alliance were now living in fear after police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Sunday night arrested 18 people who were involved with the party’s election management committees.
“There were no cases against them,” he said, adding the arrestees included leaders from BNP, its youth wing Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal and student wing Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal.
The Gazipur city election is slated for Tuesday. The voting will begin at 8am and end at 4pm, during which more than 1.1 million voters are expected to exercise their franchise.
The main battle for the mayor post is expected to take place between BNP’s Hasan and Awami League’s candidate Jahangir Alom.
However, Mazharul Alam, the chief coordinator of BNP’s media cell in this election, also alleged that the law enforcement agencies were raiding the houses of leaders and activists of the coalition every night.
“Police have targeted our people who are involved in electoral activities and arresting them. Our leaders and activists are fleeing the city,” he said.
Mazharul said police were making arrests without any warrant. “Although some of those arrested so far were accused in false political cases earlier, they were out on bail. They have now been sent to jails in Narayanganj, Tangail and Dhaka following their arrests.”
The BNP leaders also alleged that police were also reluctant in sharing the whereabouts of the arrested leaders.
Meanwhile, Gazipur Detective Branch of police’s Inspector Amir Hossain rejected the allegations, saying no such arrests were made on Sunday night.
The returning officer was unavailable for comment.