He reportedly broke and looted seven shops belonging to a BNP leader on Thursday
An Awami League leader has been accused of vandalizing seven shops, and looting valuables worth Tk4,000,000, in Tunirhat Bazar of Panchagarh.
The incident occurred in the Kamat Kajaldighi union under Sadar upazila on Thursday.
According to eyewitnesses, General Secretary of ward no 6 Awami League in Kamat Kajaldighi union under Boda upazila, Moniruzzaman Shyamol—with almost 200 of his supporters—broke the shutters of the shops with sticks and other sharp weapons; and took valuables away with a tractor.
Owner of the shops, BNP General Secretary of Kamat Kalaldighi union, Aminar Rahman told the Dhaka Tribune: "Since 2000, for 18 years, my family has owned and rented seven shops in Tunirhat Bazar in Kamat Kajaldighi union. The land upon which the shops stand is registered in my brother's name."
He furthered: "Awami League leader Moniruzzaman Shyamol lodged three cases claiming ownership of the land. Of them, two were dismissed, while the remaining one is still at trial."
Aminar said, on Thursday afternoon, Shyamol with 200-300 people suddenly showed up at his shops, vandalized them, and used a tractor to take away valuables worth Tk4,000,000.
"We did not receive any cooperation from the administration even after asking," the BNP leader complained. "We are preparing a case against the incident."
Shopkeeper Babul Hossain said: "I had Tk500,000’s-worth of mobile phones in my showroom. When they came to extort me, I asked for 20-minutes’ time, but they threatened me and took away all my goods.
"I am in terrible debt now," he said.
Meanwhile, when contacted, Moniruzzaman Shyamol said: "We are the owners of the land where these shops have been erected. My father bought this land. Later, Aminar rented a shop.
"However, when BNP came to power, Aminar grabbed all the land for himself," he said. "We only took what rightfully belongs to us."
However, Shyamol declined to comment when asked if he had looted the goods or not.
Panchagarh police station Sub-Inspector Abdul Jabbar Sarker said: "Shyamol had already left the scene by the time we arrived there."
Abu Akkas Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Panchagarh police station, said: "After being informed of the incident, we immediately sent a team to the scene. They went there and brought the situation under control."
He said legal action will be taken if anyone lodges an official complaint.