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Pre-polls violence: Vandalism, arson take centre stage on fourth day of campaigning

  • Published at 01:03 am December 14th, 2018
WEB_Narsingdi_Dhaka Tribune
In Narsingdi, at least 11 motorcycles of BNP activists were torched and two cars vandalized at Monohardi upazila Dhaka Tribune

The clashes between rival groups took place in Pabna, Brahmanbaria, Narsingdi, Noakhali, Munshiganj and Khagrachhari

At least 35 people were injured on Thursday after political offices were vandalized and a number of vehicles torched during clashes in several districts, on the fourth day of electioneering for the 11th general election, slated for December 30.

The clashes between rival groups took place in Pabna, Brahmanbaria, Narsingdi, Noakhali, Munshiganj and Khagrachhari.

In Pabna, the motorcade of Prof Abu Sayeed, the Jatiya Oikya Front candidate in Pabna 1 constituency, was attacked in Santhia upazila while he was campaigning.

His car was severely damaged in the attack around 11:30 

am on Thursday, Santhia police station OC Jahangir Hossain said.

Prof Sayeed, a former Awami League minister, told the Dhaka Tribune: “Three of my employees have been injured. Two cars and three motorcycles were also vandalized. The attackers also stole one of our motorcycles.”

He alleged that the attack was carried out by local Bangladesh Chhatra League leader Chhana and his followers, under the leadership of upazila Awami League General Secretary Tapan Haider Shaan.

“I have filed a complaint with the police and the returning officer. I am taking all legal steps,” Prof Sayeed added.

Jatiya Oikya Front candidate Prof Abu Sayeed's vehicle comes under attack during election campaign in Santhia upazila, Pabna Focus Bangla

However, when contacted, Tapan denied the allegations.

Legal action will be taken in this regard, OC Jahangir said.

In Brahmanbaria, Awami League's election campaign office at Jonglishar village under Budhol union was torched by unidentified attackers in the morning on Thursday.

The campaign office was set up by RAM Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury, the Awami League candidate in Brahmanbaria 3 constituency.

Budhol union Awami League President Hamidur Rahman and General Secretary Abdul Hai blamed the local Jamaat-e-Islami and BNP activists for the attack.

Sadar police station Sub-Inspector Sumon Saha said: "We have collected all necessary evidence from the burnt office. Legal action will be taken according to the complaint submitted."

In Jhalakathi, a group of miscreants attacked the motorcade of Jhalakathi 2 constituency BNP candidate Zeba Amin Khan in front of the returning officer’s office on Thursday morning.

Zeba managed to escape the scene while the miscreants vandalized her car.

Miscreants vandalize party office of BNP in Munshiganj Dhaka Tribune

Later, the miscreants again attacked her while she was on her way back after complaining about the first attack to the returning officer.

Zeba said at a press briefing at least five of her supporters were injured in the attacks.

In Narsingdi, at least 11 motorcycles of BNP activists were torched and two cars vandalized at Monohardi upazila. 

Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal’s Palashdanga union unit leader Monir Hossain claimed Awami League men attacked his house and looted Tk30 lakh and 15 bhoris of gold.

In Noakhali, at least 15 campaigners of BNP candidate were injured and a number of cars vandalized during an attack reportedly carried out by Awami League men in Darbeshpur area under Hatia upazila.

BNP candidate Engineer Fazlul Azim said the miscreants attacked his motorcade while he was campaigning in the area on Thursday afternoon.

Awami League candidate Ayesha Ferdaus denied the involvement of her supporters in the incident.

In Munshiganj, at least 10 BNP activists were injured when Awami League men reportedly attacked the district BNP unit’s office in the evening.

District unit BNP President Abdul Hye said they have informed the returning officer about the incident.

In Khagrachhari, five BNP men were injured when miscreants attacked the campaign of BNP candidate Shahidul Islam Bhuiyan in Sadar upazila’s Shalbon area on Thursday afternoon.

District BNP unit’s Office Secretary Abu Taleb blamed Awami League men for the attack.

Our correspondents Emroz Khandakar from Pabna, Uzzal Chakrabarti from Brahmanbaria, Asaduzzaman Ripon from Narsingdi, Ranajit Chandra Kuri from Noakhali, Tanjil Hasan from Munshiganj, and Nuruchsafa Manik from Khagrachhari contributed to this report