12:00 AM, December 29, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 05:15 AM, December 29, 2018

Violence subsides as campaign ends

15 hurt in Faridpur clash; independent candidate quits following raid at home

At least 15 people were injured and 13 others arrested over violence in two districts yesterday, two days before the 11th parliamentary polls.

In Noakhali, three youths were injured in an explosion while making bombs in Companiganj upazila's Chairman Bari area in the morning, police said.

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Law enforcers could not confirm the identities of the injured.

Polls violence subsided yesterday as the number of such incidents and casualties decreased compared to the last few days.

Meanwhile, Awami League Joint General Secretary Jahangir Kabir Nanak yesterday alleged that six ruling party men were killed by BNP men during electioneering.

“BNP men attacked and injured 445 leaders and activists of our party and vandalised 174 election camps. We urge the police to arrest these hoodlums,” Nanak said at a press conference at the AL chief's Dhanmondi office in the capital.

According to media reports, motorcades and polls campaigns of at least 56 candidates, mostly of the BNP's, came under attack; some 1,190 people were injured and over 800 BNP-Jamaat men arrested during the electioneering between December 10 and 28 for the parliamentary polls.

Campaigning for tomorrow's national election ended at 8:00am yesterday.

At least 15 people were wounded in a clash between supporters of AL nominee Kazi Zafarullah and independent candidate Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury, widely known as Nixon Chowdhury, in Faridpur-4 yesterday over establishing supremacy in Bhanga upazila's Moheshwardi village.

Witnesses said supporters of the two rival candidates were campaigning informally in the village around noon. At one stage, they got involved in an altercation and clashed using lethal weapons.

Police and BGB teams later rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control.

Talking to journalists, Nixon's supporter Md Azam alleged that two supporters of Zafarullah beat him up without provocation.

Ashad Matubbar, supporter of the AL candidate, claimed Azam phoned him and threatened not to seek vote for ZafarUllah.

Both the rival groups denied the allegations against each other.

Additional policemen were deployed in the area to avoid further violence.

In Chandpur, police picked up 13 alleged BNP men following a clash between “criminals” and the opposition party men at the Rupsha house of Chandpur-4 BNP candidate Harunur Rashid in Faridganj upazila around noon.

Witness said a group of bike-riding criminals reached near Rashid's house and attacked it. As the BNP men tried to resist the attackers, the clash broke out.

Police later brought the situation under control.

Faridganj OC Ohidul Islam said they picked up 13 people in connection with the incident. The BNP claimed the arrestees to be its activists.

In Sunamganj, police arrested BNP leaders Abdul Motaleb Khan, also chairman of Dharmapasha upazila, and Harunur Rashid, former general secretary of Dowarabazar upazila BNP yesterday evening.

Police said the two were accused in sabotage cases.

N'GANJ CANDIDATE QUITS RACE

In Narayanganj-3, independent candidate Abdullah Al Kaiser last night announced that he was withdrawing from the polls in the face of pressure from the administration and considering the security of his supporters.

He made the announcement while talking to journalists at his Mograpara home in Sonargaon upazila around 9:00pm, hours after a joint team of police, BGB and Rab, led by an executive magistrate, raided his house.

Sazzad Roman, inspector (Special Branch) of Narayanganj police, said the raid was conducted on information that Kaiser was holding a “secret meeting” to commit subversive activities.

Shahinur Rahman, assistant returning officer in the district, said he didn't receive any compliant from any candidate about facing pressure from the administration.

In Tangail-3, BNP candidate Lutfar Rahman Khan Azad at a press conference yesterday demanded withdrawal of Maksudul Alam and Amirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ghatail Police Station and in-charge of Dhalapara Police Outpost, for allegedly threatening his possible polling agents not to go to the polling centres on the voting day.

Amirul, however, denied the allegation.

Despite repeated attempts, The Daily Star could not reach Maksudul over the phone for comments.

In Cumilla, police were forced to release an AL man after the ruling party activists laid seize to Kotwali Model Police Station yesterday.

Police detained Syed Raihan, 40, son of local AL leader Abir Ahmed Photo, also a ward councillor of Cumilla City Corporation, in the city around 2:00pm.

Hearing the news, around 500 AL men laid seize to the police station. Law enforcers freed the detainee around 4:45pm, said locals.

Talking to journalists, Abir said, “Police detained Raihan from Mogoltuli area after Juma prayers without any specific allegation. Locals protested the incident and laid seize to the police station demanding his release.”

Abu Salam Mia, OC of the police station, said Raihan was detained due to a “misunderstanding”.

In Meherpur, criminals hurled two bombs at the house of district BNP Joint Secretary Abdul Awal Biswas in Gangni upazila's Bamundi village around 9:30pm on Thursday.

On the same night, Faridpur police in separate drives arrested seven BNP men from different areas of Boalmari Municipality.

Our district correspondents contributed to this report. 


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