Polls violence continues
Election violence continues to show no signs of ceasing as at least five candidates of the December 30 polls came under attack allegedly by AL men in different districts since yesterday.
In Dhaka, BNP's candidate for Dhaka-9, Afroza Abbas, and her supporters came under attack again yesterday allegedly by AL men while conducting electioneering in the capital's Maniknagar area, reports UNB.
This was the third time her campaign came under the attack.
Elsewhere in Chattogram, BNP candidate for Chattogram-2, Azim Ullah Bahar, and 14 others were injured in an attack allegedly by AL men at Tokirhat area under Fatikchhari upazila yesterday.
After the attack, Bahar held a press conference at Chattogram Press Club where Abdullah Al Noman, BNP vice chairman, said, “Our party men are sacrificing blood every day in different parts of the country. Revenge will be taken through recovering a democratic trend in the country.”
Police confirmed the attack but did not disclose the identity of the attackers. They also added that afterwards BNP men had blocked a road at Nazirhat Jongkar area to stage demonstrations there and vandalised several vehicles.
Additional police had been deployed to avert any further untoward situation, said Babul Akter, officer-in-charge of Fatikchhari Police Station.
Meanwhile, the motorcade of Jatiya Oikyafront's candidate for Chattogram-5 Syed Muhammad Ibrahim came under attack while campaigning at Chittagong University's Gate No 1 area yesterday.
Ibrahim, also chairman of Bangladesh Kalyan party, held a press conference at Chattogram Press Club after the attack where he alleged that four of his supporters were injured and two vehicles were vandalised in an attack by AL men.
Belal Md Jahangir, OC of Hathazari Police Station, could not be reached for comments over phone despite repeated attempts.
Additionally, Islami Front Bangladesh's candidate for Chattogram-2, Saifuddin Ahmed Maijbhandari, also alleged that AL men had attacked their campaign at Bhujpur union of the Fatikchhari upazila.
Sheikh Abdullah, OC of Bhujpur Police Station, said “We went to the spot after hearing of the attack but found nothing.”
Contacted, the General Secretary of Chattogram (North) district unit AL MA Salam told The Daily Star that he was not aware of any such attacks on either Maijbhandari or Ibrahim but said that BNP men had been making provocative statements.
Elsewhere in Sherpur, BNP candidate for Sherpur-3, Mahamudul Haque, at a press conference at his house yesterday alleged that at least six BNP men were injured in an attack by AL men on his campaign in Tinani Bazar area of Malijhikanda union on Saturday night.
He also claimed that police were harassing BNP men so that they could not join campaign. This was denied by police.
AL's Malijhikanda union unit President Atiqur Rahman also denied the allegation, saying no AL men were involved in any attack.
Elsewhere in Patuakhali, criminals attacked and vandalised the homes of two local BNP leaders at Arambagh area in the town on Saturday night.
Although the BNP men alleged that AL men launched the attack, the district unit AL General Secretary Kazi Alomgir Hossain said no party men were involved in the attack.
In Sylhet, miscreants attacked and vandalised an electoral camp of AL's candidate for Sylhet-1, AK Abdul Momen, at Shahporan area under Sadar upazila early yesterday.
Following the incident, local party men rushed to the spot and blocked Sylhet-Tamabil highway for an hour.
Akhter Hossain, officer-in-charge of Sylhet Sadar Police Station, said security had been beefed up in the area to avoid further attacks.
In Cumilla, five AL men were injured as criminals hurled two crude bombs at an election camp of AL candidate for Cumilla-7, Ali Ashraf, at Madhaiya are of Chandina upazila on Saturday evening.
Police said they were trying to find those involved.
Elsewhere, an electoral camp of BNP's candidate for Sylhet-1, Khandakar Abdul Muktadir, was allegedly vandalised during a clash between Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal at Baluchar area in Sylhet city last night.
Moudud Ahmed Akash, former education affairs secretary of Sylhet district BCL, said the BNP and JCD leaders were giving “hate speeches” from the stage of the electoral camps and when they were asked not to do so, they initiated the attack on BCL activists.
Akhter Hossain, officer-in-charge of Shahporan Police Station, said the BCL and JCD activists locked in a clash following an altercation over campaigning.
“We have brought the situation under control and additional force has been deployed at the place,” he said.
Meanwhile, BNP candidates in different districts alleged that police were harassing them and obstructing their campaigns.
In Barishal, BNP candidate for Barishal-5, Mojibor Rahman Sarwar, yesterday alleged that the ruling party and police were preventing him from electioneering and threatening the BNP men to leave the constituency.
Barishal's Superintendent of Police SM Saiful Islam denied the allegation.
The city unit AL President Golam Abbas Chowdhury also denied the allegation and said the BNP men were continuously campaigning.
In Chattogram, two BNP candidates yesterday alleged that police were implicating their activists in “false cases” and harassing BNP men continuously.
The BNP candidate for Chattogram-8, Abu Sufian, and for Chattogram-12, Enamul Haque, came up with the allegations in separate press conferences at Chattogram Press Club.
However, both Patiya Police Station OC Neyamat Ullah and Chandgaon Police Station OC Abul Bashar denied the allegations and said they did not implicate anyone in false cases but arrested only those accused.
Meanwhile, our correspondents from different districts reported that police have arrested BNP-Jamaat men in different criminal cases.
In Chattogram, police arrested three Jamaat men with half a kilogram of explosives from Halishahar area of the city yesterday.
During primary interrogation, the trio told police that they came to Chattogram to buy 20 kgs of explosive materials with a plan to destabilise the congenial election atmosphere, claimed Deputy Commissioner (DB-port) SM Mostain Hossain of Chattogram Metropolitan Police.
In Habiganj, police arrested a leader of Jatia party yesterday afternoon for distributing money among voters in Nabiganj municipal area in the district.
In Mymensingh, police arrested three BNP leaders from different areas of Trishal upazila on charges of ransacking and torching a stage set for an election rally of Awami League at Horirampur union yesterday, said Md Azizur Rahman, OC of Trishal Police Station.
(Our correspondents from Mymensingh, Chattogram, Barishal and Sylhet contributed to this report.)