Centring a fight that began over paying bills at a tea stall on Tuesday, a group of villagers swooped on another group the next afternoon at Dakkhin Chikonmati Huzurpara village in Domar upazila.
In the clash, the group mercilessly beat the women and children of the other group.
Police, after reaching the spot, arrested four individuals in this regard. However, Mosharaf Hossain, 62, father of two of the victims, pointed out that the police arrested three of his sons and only one person from the aggressors.
Mosharaf alleged that a UP member backed the attackers as they were his men and that the member even instructed the police to arrest Mosharaf's sons, which they did.
Mosharaf recounted that his son Soyeb and his friend had tea and snacks at a tea stall near Sonarai Bazaar.
“A scuffle erupted with the tea stall owner and my son over paying some bills. One Hasan Ali, 30, son-in-law of my neighbour Ohiuddin, was injured as he sided with the tea stall owner and was admitted to Domar upazila health complex the same night,” he said.
“On Wednesday afternoon, Hasan Ali was released from hospital and was coming to his father-in-law's [Ohiuddin's] house accompanied by 14-15 agitated relatives,” Mosharaf said.
As they reached near Mosharaf's house and saw his daughters, Ohiuddin along with his wife Fatema, sons Halim and Rabbi, daughter Nur Banu and others rushed towards them and started beating them mercilessly with bamboo sticks, triggering a clash between the two groups, he added.
Mosharaf's daughter Rupali, 30, Rokeya, 14, and granddaughter Rakhi, 7, lost consciousness due to their injuries and were seen lying on the ground for a long time, Mozaffor, a local, said.
However, Ohiuddin denied the allegation of beating up the women and blamed Mosharaf's family for injuring his men.
He claimed that the women pretended to faint to put him in trouble.
“I informed the local UP member over phone and he, along with police, reached the spot to rescue us,” Ohiuddin said.
After making the arrests, police sent the women and other injured to Domar upazila health complex.
Contacted, UP member Solaiman Ali said, “Mosharaf and his family are aggressive by nature and as an elected representative I informed the police to restore law and order.”
He denied the allegation of siding with Ohiuddin's family.
Ratan, a local youth, said he saw Ohiuddin's group brutally beating up the women.
Officer-in-Charge (investigation) Ibrahim Khalil of Domar Police Station said, “We will investigate the matter and take action against the real culprits and also talk to the police officers concerned to know the real situation.”