The previous aspirants were charged with vandalizing and attacking Hindu houses and temples in 2016
The Awami League on Thursday cancelled the nominations of two chairman candidates in the upcoming union parishad (UP) polls under Nasirnagar upazila, Brahmanbaria.
The ruling party on Tuesday announced the names of its candidates vying for the post of chairman in 13 unions of Nasirnagar in the second phase of the elections scheduled for November 11.
It had picked Dewan Atiqur Rahman Ankhi and Abul Hashem — incumbent chairpersons of Haripur and Nasirnagar unions, respectively — for the same posts.
But their nominations drew controversy and widespread criticisms as police had pressed charges against the two for attacking and vandalising Hindu houses and temples in Nasirnagar in 2016.
In the face of the criticism, Awami League on Thursday replaced Ankhi with Wasim Ahmed and Hashem with former UP member Putul Rani Biswas.
The ruling party’s Office Secretary Biplab Barua said Awami League President Sheikh Hasina cleared the nominations of the new candidates after the party received the allegations against Dewan and Hashem.
On Wednesday, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader had told reporters they would remove candidates who had any allegations of misconduct against them.
On October 29, 2016, a group of people had beaten up a Hindu boy from Nasirnagar’s Harinber village claiming he hurt religious sentiment on Facebook and handed him over to police.
The next day, at least 15 temples and more than 100 houses of the Hindu community were attacked, vandalized, looted and torched following two separate rallies in Brahmanbaria Sadar upazila.
In November that year, at least six Hindu houses in Sadar upazila were also torched.
More than 2,500 people were charged in a total of eight cases filed over the attacks. Police filed charges against 228 people -- including Ankhi and Hashem -- in December 2017 in one of those cases.
Ankhi was mentioned as the "mastermind" of the attack in the charge sheet by police. Both Hashem and Ankhi were arrested and later released on bail.