At least 30 people, including three policemen, were injured when two rival groups of Awami League clashed over the party ticket in the upcoming upazila parishad election in Aditmari upazila yesterday.
The clash broke out between the supporters of Rafiqul Islam, who got the party's nomination to run for the chairman post in the upazila polls, and Imrul Quayes Faruk, who failed to obtain the party ticket, said police.
Rafiqul is the general secretary of the upazila unit AL, while Quayes is the former organising secretary of the unit. Both of them were trying to get the party's nomination for the upazila polls.
The injured were admitted to different hospitals and clinics. Four of them were critically wounded. Maidul Islam Babu, general secretary of Aditmari upazila Chhatra League, and three others were admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital.
The first phase of the five-phase upazila polls will be held on March 10. Election to Aditmari upazila parishad will be held on that day.
Quoting locals, police said Rafiqul's supporters, riding around 50 motorcycles, were going to the Second Teesta Bridge area to receive him on his return from Dhaka. On their way, they met the followers of Faruk in front of the upazila AL office near Grameen Bank intersection around 10:00am.
Both the groups then were locked in an altercation. At one stage, Faruk's men attacked Rafiqul's followers and vandalised six to eight motorcycles.
Hearing this, several hundred supporters of Rafiqul marched towards the upazila AL office. Equipped with sticks and sharp weapons, both the groups attacked each other in Bhadai Bazar area around 12:00 noon though police tried to pacify them.
Police fired 20 rubber bullets to disperse the clashing groups.
Business establishments were closed for hours.
NM Nasir Uddin, additional superintendent of Lalmonirhat police, said law enforcers rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. Additional police had been deployed in the area to avoid further untoward incident.
Talking to journalists, Rafiqul alleged that supporters of Faruk attacked his men and vandalised some motorcycles “without any provocation”.
Faruk could not be reached as his mobile phone was switched off.