Violence in Noakhali: Probe takes back seat as cops busy ensuring calm | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 23, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:17 AM, February 23, 2021

Violence in Noakhali: Probe takes back seat as cops busy ensuring calm

Four days have passed but police are yet to arrest anyone in connection with Noakhali's Companiganj violence that killed a journalist and wounded around 19 others.

Police said they collected CCTV footage to identify the criminals.

A chaotic situation is prevailing in the area. So, law enforcers are now prioritising law and order to ensure public security, said police.

The clash on February 19 was between two factions of ruling Awami League over establishing supremacy in Companiganj. One group was led by Abdul Quader Mirza, younger brother of AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader, while the other was led by Mizanur Rahman Badal, organising secretary of upazila unit AL.

Both the groups used firearms in the clash and police also fired around 10 to 12 bullets to bring the situation under control.

A day later, journalist Borhan Uddin Muzakkir, 30, of online portal Barta Bazar, who was hit by bullets while covering the incident, died at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.

Two cases have been filed in connection with the violence, but police could not arrest anyone.

Mir Zahidul Haque Rony, officer-in-charge of Companiganj Police Station, said a situation of unrest was prevailing in the area. The police were struggling to maintain law and order.

Just now, police do not have enough time to investigate the clash. The police would start investigation after the situation becomes normal, he told The Daily Star.

Echoing him, Md Alamgir Hossain, superintendent of Noakhali police, said they now cannot pay full concentration on investigation of the clash.

Criminals will be arrested soon, the police officer added.

Meanwhile, breaching the imposed section 144, Quader Mirza tried to hold a press conference at Rupali Chhattar around 3:00pm yesterday. His attempt failed due to interference of the local administration.

At that time, he had locked in an altercation with law enforcers and officials of the administration who prevented him from holding the press conference.

Mirza stayed on stage for a few moments.

MUZAKKIR'S PHONE

Seeking anonymity, a journalist said Muzakkir was recording video during the clash when some people snatched his phone.

When Muzakkir wanted his phone back, the criminals opened fire, said the journalist who was present at the scene.

Now both the AL groups are claiming that Muzakkir was their man.

A source told The Daily Star that the Detective Branch of police had recovered the phone, but DB Inspector Zakir Hossain denied it.

Meanwhile, supporters of Mirza on Sunday attacked journalist Gias Uddin, correspondent of an online portal.

The victim said he tried to exchange greetings with Mirza when Mirza was passing by his shop at Rupali Chhatar. Mirza got furious and hurled abuse.

Mirza's followers then chased him to his shop and beat him up, the victim claimed.

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