BNP leader Mirza Abbas claims 3,500 of his supporters have been jailed
Candidates contesting the 11th general election from the BNP and its partner alliances began election campaigns in Dhaka on Tuesday.
Mirza Abbas and his wife Afroza Abbas, the BNP candidates from Dhaka 8 and 9 constituencies, respectively, began electioneering by distributing leaflets to pedestrians and shopkeepers in Shahjahanpur, reports UNB.
Shamim Ara Begum, BNP candidate from Dhaka 11 constituency, began her election campaign in the Badda High School area in the morning.
Other candidates from the BNP and its partner alliances also began visiting their electoral areas, seeking votes for the “Sheaf of Paddy.”
Before kicking off his election campaign, Mirza Abbas alleged that his family has not been feeling safe as they are constantly being followed by law enforcement officials.
“Although the chief election commissioner assured that no one would be arrested after the announcement of the election schedule, our [BNP] leaders and activists are regularly being arrested and implicated in various cases," he said during a press conference at his Shahjahanpur residence.
Mirza Abbas added that police in plainclothes were constantly at all gates of his house. “My family and I are constantly in fear of being arrested.”
He further said 3,500 of his supporters have been jailed. “How am I supposed to carry out an election campaign with my supporters in jail? My wife Afroza Abbas is facing the same problem.”
Mirza Abbas claimed that police had arrested 25 of his supporters as they were returning home after a milad mahfil at his house on Monday.
He also urged the Election Commission to hold a credible general election.
Afroza Abbas echoed her husband in saying that a level playing field was yet to be established for the election.
She urged journalists to be neutral and give opposition candidates due coverage in their newspapers.