• Thursday, Apr 15, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:32 am

Over 55 injured, offices vandalized in nationwide election violence

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Torched motor cycles left on the road after a violent clash between Awami League and BNP supporters at Subornachar upazila of Noakhali on December 22, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

The clashes occurred in Chapainawabganj, Habiganj, Noakhali, Pabna, Thakurgaon, Narsingdi and Chittagong

Attacks on election campaigns, political offices continued across the country on Saturday and on Friday night, leaving 55 injured on the 12th day of electioneering ahead of the 11th general election.

The clashes occurred in Chapainawabganj, Habiganj, Noakhali, Pabna, Thakurgaon, Narsingdi and Chittagong.

In Chapainawabganj, two people including a child were injured when miscreants detonated four crude bombs in separate areas of Rohanpur in Gomostapur upazila on Friday night.

The bombs went off in front of Awami League's election campaign office and at the College Intersection area around 8pm. 

Witnesses said two miscreants riding on a motorcycle hurled two crude bombs in front of the office of Awami League candidate Ziaur Rahman around 8pm, injuring the two people. Miscreants also hurled two bombs at the College Intersection area of the upazila in a similar manner the same night.

Upon receiving news of the incidents, Assistant Returning Officer and Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shihab Raihan, Gomostapur Circle police Additional Superintendent Jahidur Rahman and the officer-in-charge of Gomostapur police station visited the locations.

In Habiganj, the motorcade of Oikya Front candidate Ahmed Kader came under attack in Chunarughat upazila Saturday afternoon.

At least five people were injured in the incident, and the vehicle and microphone used in the election campaign were vandalized.

Ahmed blamed Awami League men over the attack.

He also claimed police did not take any action even though he had informed them about the matter.

Chunarughat police station OC AKM Azmiruzzaman said a case was yet to be filed over the attack.

He added that police would take action once they received a written complaint.

Furthermore, Awami League men reportedly attacked the election campaign of BNP candidate GK Gous in Shaistaganj upazila around 8pm yesterday.

However, Awami League leaders claimed their own party office had also been vandalized.

Shaistaganj police station Officer-in-Charge Md Alimuzzaman confirmed both the incidents.

In Pabna, two election campaign offices of BNP were vandalized and 3 BNP activists injured, allegedly by Awami League men, in Mathurapur under Chatmohar upazila of the district on Friday night.

Chatmohor upazila BNP Joint Secretary Asrafuzzaman Halim claimed Awami League activists vandalized two of BNP’s election campaign offices, at Mathurapur Bazar and Shajahanpur under Gunaigacha union of the upazila, at about 9 pm on Friday night. 

He also alleged the Awami League men had severely beaten the BNP activists.

The injured were identified as Soleman Hossain, Nazimuddin, and Abdul Kuddus. Soleman and Nazimuddin were admitted to Chatmohor upazila health complex, while critically injured Abdul Kuddus was transferred to Pabna General Hospital.

AK Anwarul Islam, BNP candidate from Pabna 3 constituency, said: “We are trying to maintain a healthy environment ahead of the election, considering the rules for election campaigns. However, Awami League supporters are threatening our leaders and activists, and we doubt the election will be free and fair.”

Chatmohor police station OC Md Nasir Uddin confirmed the incident, but said a written complaint was yet to be filed. 

“Once we get the written complaint, we will take action,” he said.

In Noakhali, a total 20 men were injured in a clash between Awami League and BNP activists in two different locations under Subornachar upazila of the district around 11am Saturday.

BNP candidate from Noakhali 4 constituency Md Shahjahan said Awami League men attacked his election campaign in the Bhuyarhat area, leaving 10 BNP supporters injured.

At least four vehicles were torched during the attack, he claimed.

On the other hand, Subornachar upazila unit Awami League President Omar Faruk said BNP activists attacked Awami League men in the Bhuyarhat and Kanchan Bazar areas, leaving 10 Awami League supporters injured.

They also vandalized Awami League offices, Faruk alleged.

At least 16 people, including Subornachar upazila unit BNP president and the district unit Chhatra League president, were detained over the incident, Charjabbar police station OC Nizam Uddin said.

In Comilla, the motorcade of Awami League candidate Selima Ahmed Merry was reportedly attacked by BNP men in Titas upazila on Saturday.

At a press briefing in the evening, Selima claimed miscreants riding on motorcycles and a microbus hurled three cocktails at her while she was campaigning in the Dariakandi Bridge area. 

She claimed the attack was meant to kill her.

Denying the allegation, BNP candidate Dr Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain said they could not conduct such an attack as most of their activists in the area were already in jail.

He also claimed Awami League had staged the incident in order to harass BNP activists.

Titas police station Officer-in-Charge Syed Ehsanul Haque said he had been informed about the incident.

In Chittagong, at least five BNP men were injured when the residence and office of the BNP candidate from Chittagong 8 constituency were attacked, allegedly by Awami League men, at Chandogaon Saturday evening, reports UNB.

In Narsingdi, a fourth-grader of a local madrasa was shot and four others injured, when the campaign office of BNP candidate from Narsingdi 3 constituency Manjur Elahi was attacked and vandalized Saturday afternoon.

Shibpur police station OC Abul Kalam Azad confirmed the incident to the Dhaka Tribune.

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