12:00 AM, December 16, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:32 AM, December 16, 2018

No respite from attacks

4 Oikyafront candidates including BNP's Khokon, Abbas among 100 injured in countrywide electoral violence

At least four BNP candidates, including Mahbub Uddin Khokon, and over 100 others were injured in electoral violence in 10 districts since Friday night.

Khokon, BNP contender for Noakhali-1 constituency, was hit by rubber bullets during a clash between Awami League and BNP activists yesterday.

The other three candidates are Mirza Abbas in Dhaka-8, Jalal Uddin in Chandpur-2 and SA Kabir Jinna in Manikganj-1.

In Noakhali's Sonaimuri upazila, a fight between AL and BNP activists broke out around 4:45pm yesterday as ruling party men intercepted a procession of BNP leaders and activists in the bypass area. Both sides got involved in chase and counter-chase, said witnesses.

Khokon was wounded as police fired rubber bullets to quell the clash.

Talking to The Daily Star, Khokon alleged that the law enforcers opened fire targeting him.

Asked, Noakhali Superintendent of Police Ilias Sharif said police fired blanks to bring the situation under control.

The SP further said he didn't know whether anyone was injured in the incident.

Contacted, Sonaimuri upazila unit AL President Mominul Islam Baker denied the allegation that ruling party men intercepted the BNP procession.

The AL leader claimed that BNP leaders and activists led by Khokon vandalised an election campaign office of his party.

At a press conference at Noakhali Ainjibi Samity auditorium earlier in the morning, all BNP candidates in the six constituencies in Noakhali had alleged that the atmosphere in the district is not at all congenial for holding polls.

In the capital, Mirza Abbas, BNP candidate for Dhaka-8, came under attack yesterday noon when he along with his supporters was campaigning in Segunbagicha area.

Abbas, also member of the BNP Standing Committee, alleged that around 100 AL men suddenly attacked them without any provocation.

Seven to eight BNP activists were wounded, he told journalists after the incident.

Subrata Chowdhury, Jatiya Oikyafront-backed candidate for Dhaka-6, alleged that miscreants attacked his election rally in the city's Hatkhola area.

Meanwhile, BNP candidate for Chandpur-2 Jalal Uddin and nine other party men were injured in attacks allegedly by AL men at Ladhua village in Matlab upazila.

Talking to journalists, Jalal alleged that he and his supporters were attacked twice in the presence of police.

He also claimed that the law enforcers even assisted the attackers.

Chandpur Superintendent of Police Jihadul Kabir, however, refuted the allegation and said police protected Jalal from the attackers.

Matlab (north) Jubo League President Dewan Jahurul Islam said the incident might have stemmed from internal feud in the local BNP unit.

In Manikganj, BNP contender for Manikganj-1 SA Kabir Jinna and about 20 party men were wounded in an attack allegedly by ruling party men at Daulatpur last evening.

Earlier on Friday, three BNP candidates -- Romana Mahamud in Sirajganj-2, Habibul Islam Habib in Satkhira-1 and Jeba Amin in Jhalakathi-2 -- suffered injuries in attacks allegedly by AL activists, according to media reports.

Yesterday, BNP Senior Joint Secretary General Rizvi Ahmed claimed that around 150 party candidates so far came under attack from AL men across the country.

Such attacks are being carried out in all the constituencies right under the nose of law enforcers, he said at the party's Nayapaltan central office in the capital.

BNP candidates in Bogura, Sirajganj, Gazipur, Jamalpur, Manikganj and Patuakhali alleged that a level playing field was absent in the districts and law enforcers were working in favour of the ruling party.

In Chattogram, at least 10 people, including a son of Liberal Democratic Party President Oli Ahmed, were injured in an attack in Satkania upazila's Keuchia yesterday.

Talking to this newspaper, Oli, BNP candidate for Chattogram-14, alleged that around 50 followers of a brother of Chattogram-14 lawmaker Nazrul Islam Chowdhury launched the attack on his son Omar Faruk and supporters while they were campaigning for him.

Nazrul refuted the allegation.

In Satkhira, 10 to 12 supporters of the AL and the Bikolpodhara Bangladesh suffered injuries on Friday night as activists of the two parties clashed in Shyamnagar upazila.

On Friday evening, BNP men allegedly attacked an AL election camp in Ramerkandi Mor Bazar area in Sherpur, leaving 10 AL men injured.

Local BNP leaders denied party men's involvement in the attack.

Moreover, four persons were injured in an attack allegedly by BNP men at Dulhari village in Dinajpur.

Witnesses said a group of BNP supporters was campaigning at the village in Biral upazila yesterday. As they sought vote for “sheaf of paddy” -- the BNP's electoral symbol, one of the voters there said he would vote for “boat” -- the AL's electoral symbol.

At this, the BNP supporters got angry and beat him up. Three others got injured while trying to save the man.  

In Jhenidah, a rickshaw-puller was injured at Helai village as AL men allegedly attacked a rickshaw carrying a loudspeaker used in campaigns for the BNP candidate for Jhenaidah-4 yesterday.

At least 10 BNP men were injured as AL men allegedly swooped on a meeting of BNP candidate for Patuakhali-1 Altaf Hossain Chowdhury at Badorpur village in Patuakhali.

In Bhola, the BNP alleged that at least 20 party men were injured in an attack by AL men in Lalmohon launch terminal area yesterday. 

Besides, 12 Jatiya Party men, including its candidate for Barguna-2 Mizanur Rahman, were injured in an attack allegedly by AL men at Baichutki ferry ghat.

Last night, Joly Talukder, Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) candidate for Netrakona-4, and her supporters came under attack while campaigning in Mansiri Palpara area of Netrakona.

At least five of her supporters, including Partho Pratim Sarker, organising secretary of Chhatra Union's Netrakona unit, were injured.

Joly alleged that she was assaulted during the attack.

In another incident yesterday, a car carrying Kamrun Nahar, wife of BNP candidate for Patuakhali-3 Golam Maula Roni, was attacked in Galachipa municipality. BNP claimed that AL men carried out the attack.

Contacted, Kazi Alamgir Hossain, general secretary of district unit AL, denied the allegation and said no AL man was involved in the incident.


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