The furious clash between activists of two councillor candidates at Mogoltuli Mogpukur Par area in the port city on Tuesday evening has made both the city dwellers and law enforcing agencies worried over further clashes in different areas ahead of polls day.
Their worry is mainly over the Awami League (AL)-backed councillor candidates and their rival candidates from AL who did not get party support in different wards.
A man identified as Azgar Ali Babul (52), was shot dead and another was hit by a bullet during a gunfight between activists of Nazrul Islam Bahadur, an AL-backed councilor candidate in Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) ward-28, and that of former councilor of the ward Abdul Quader, a Jubo League leader who failed to get party support for candidacy, on Tuesday . Police and local sources said both the deceased and injured men were activists of Bahadur.
A joint team of police and Rapid Action Battalion during a drive on Tuesday night detained 26 people including Quader following the clash, said Sadip Kumar Das, officer-in-charge of Double Mooring Police Station in the port city.
Sources in the area said the clash on Tuesday ensued over removing posters of Quader by some of Nazrul's activists on Monday evening. Quader lodged a complaint with the Returning Officer (RO) against Nazrul's men over removal of his posters on Tuesday morning, said sources in the RO office.
The clash erupted on Tuesday evening when both the candidates went to same area for campaigning, said locals.
AL insiders said Nazrul, a follower of late AL leader ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury, was a councillor of the ward between 2010 and 2015 while Quader, a follower of former CCC mayor AJM Nasir Uddin, was elected councilor in the polls held in 2015.
Both of them tried to get party backing this time but Nazrul succeeded, they said, adding that Quader was adamant to vie in the polls, defying party decision.
Locals apprehended more clashes in the area between followers of two in days to come.
"We afraid to go out of home," said a local of Mogoltuli area preferring anonymity. "Gunfight between activists of two rival candidates might have killed an innocent passersby."
"The more polls day is coming closer, the higher the tension is between rival candidates," said another local.
Meanwhile, law enforcing agencies are also worried over the tensions.
Sources in police said they were not too worried about tensions between BNP-backed councillor candidates and AL-backed candidates, rather they were worried over issues between AL-backed candidates and their rival candidates from the party.
A total of 12 former ward councillors who did not get support from AL are vying in the polls defying party decision. Law-enforcing agencies are anxious of violence in those wards, particularly ward-14 (Lalkhanbazar), ward-33 (Firingibazar), ward-28 (Pathantuli) and ward-12 (Saraipara).
Contacted, CMP Commissioner Saleh Mohammad Tanvir said police and law enforcers were alert to thwart any untoward situation in the city over CCC polls.
"We will maintain law and order situation at any cost," he said.
Asked about the incident at Mogoltuli on Tuesday, he said police rushed to the spot immediately and arrested a number of people, who were being quizzed.