BNP Vice-Chairperson Abdullah Al Noman was detained by police in Tongi and released after six hours on Sunday over alleged involvement in vandalism and causing chaos on the streets.
Noman, also a former minister, was released from Tongi police station around 10:30pm, said his Personal Secretary Nurul Azim Hiru.
BNP’s Gazipur district unit President Fazlul Haque Milon said law enforcers had detained Noman and 14 other leaders and activists around 5pm as they came out of the party’s Gazipur city polls mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarkar's Tongi residence.
They were leaving after holding a press conference over the High Court's stay order on the May 15 election.
Following the order, the Election Commission halted election preparations in the city.
Earlier in the day, Gazipur’s Additional Superintendent of Police Rasel Sheikh said Noman and the others were picked up for their alleged involvement in damaging public transports, creating trouble on the street in Tongi, and spreading panic among people.
Milon claimed that no vandalism and traffic disruption occurred in Gazipur on Sunday, brushing off the police’s allegation.
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Heavy police presence in front of the house of BNP's Gazipur city polls mayoral candidate Hasan Uddin Sarkar's Tongi residence on Sunday Dhaka Tribune
He also said a large number of policemen, both in uniform and plainclothes, were keeping Hasan's residence cordoned off, confining many party leaders and activists, including him, in it.
According to Milon, those who were confined with him included BNP’s Senior Vice-Chairperson BarkatullahBulu, Hasan, Gazipur BNP Vice-President Salah Uddin Sarkar, and Hefazat-e Islam’s Gazipur metropolitan unit Joint Secretary Nasir Uddin.
Additional SP Rasel Sheikh could not give the number of people detained or arrested on Sunday. “Our raids are still going on. We will be able to say for sure once they end.”
Regarding the siege on Hasan Uddin Sarkar’s home, he said: “Police can cordon off any place if they suspect deterioration of law and order or if they have information on anyone accused of sabotage holed up in that place.”
Before his detention on Sunday, Abdullah Al Noman had told reporters that government higher-ups were involved in the postponement of Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) polls.
“We condemn such move. The government is cheating the voters of Gazipur city as they knew BNP will win this election. The government is now afraid of going through the election,” he alleged.
On March 31, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda announced the electionsto the Gazipur and Khulna city corporations would be held on May 15.
Awami League's Jahangir Alam and BNP's Hasan are vying for the GCC mayoral post.