Whip, his supporters swoop on cops | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:32 AM, December 05, 2015

Bangladesh’s ruling party MP, his supporters swoop on cops

Police say they came to police station to get 2 arrestees freed; the MP denies allegations

Police yesterday filed a case against 30 people over an attack on Chuadanga Sadar Police Station.

Though local lawmaker Solaiman Haque Joarder Selun, also a parliament Whip, allegedly led the attack, his name was not on the list of the accused.

The charges brought against the accused include attacking police with the intention to kill, obstructing the police from discharging their duties, vandalising government properties, creating panic by firing gunshots and exploding bombs.

Earlier on Thursday night, Awami League MP Selun along with his supporters allegedly swooped on the police station and physically assaulted the district police chief and two of his deputies.

While the senior police officials were being roughed up inside the police station, some 60-70 ruling party men went violent outside.

They hurled crude bombs, fired gunshots, vandalised a police van and threw brickbats at the law enforcers on duty, police said.

And all these happened because police refused to release two activists of pro-AL Bangladesh Chhatra League arrested earlier in the day.

Additional Superintendent of Chuadanga Police Belayat Hossain, one of those assaulted by the MP, told this correspondent that police arrested BCL activities Khalid Hossain and Asad on Thursday evening on information that the two were planning to attack the house of a pro-AL Jubo League leader, who failed to get the party ticket in his mayoral bid in the municipal polls.

Khalid has at least five cases filed against him.

 As the police team, led by Officer-in-Charge Saiful Islam, was heading towards Chuadanga Sadar Police Station with the arrestees, a group of BCL men led by Mohaimen Haque Joarder Anik intercepted the police van in Pouro area and demanded release of the two.

Anik is the general secretary of Chuadanga district BCL and a nephew of Selun.

When the OC refused to do so, they blasted several crude bombs in front of the vehicle and tried to snatch the arrestees in vain, police said.

Anik along with his men then followed the law enforcers to the police station and informed his Whip uncle over the phone.

Selun then phoned OC Saiful and asked him to release the arrestees.

"But I denied. Then he threatened me, saying, 'I will teach you a lesson'. He also hurled abuse at me," Saiful told The Daily Star.

 Around 9:30pm, Selun and his younger brother Reazul Haque Joarder, who is the incumbent mayor of Chuadanga municipality, went to the police station.

They started shouting at the OC, using "offensive words" for arresting the BCL men and not releasing them.

"When I again humbly expressed my inability to comply, he charged at me with a slap gesture," the OC said.

Saiful then informed his superior officers and Additional SP Belayat rushed to the police station around 10:00pm.

Seeing him, Selun and his brother Reazul got even angrier and immediately started "abusing" the additional SP.

"I tried to calm them down, saying I would look into the matter. But they surrounded me and started throwing abusive words at me," Belayat told The Daily Star.

 He then phoned his boss SP Rashidul Hassan, who arrived at the scene around 10:30pm.

"Selun and Reazul started misbehaving with the SP Sir as well. They asked him rudely, 'How dare you arrest my party men?' ... The Whip even attempted to hit the SP Sir," Belayat added.

Having failed to bend the policemen even after all these, Selun's men outside resorted to violence.

They vandalised a police vehicle, pelted brickbats, hurled six to seven crude bombs and fired four shotgun bullets at the policemen there before they were chased away.

Four constables -- Tariq Hakim, Rubel Hossain, Abdul Quader and Md Ashraful -- were injured with shotgun pellets. They are under treatment at Chuadanga Sadar Hospital.

Contacted, SP Rashidul initially declined to comment on this.

But later, he said, "No one can expect such behaviour from a lawmaker, especially when the lawmaker is holding the post of a Whip in parliament."

"Necessary steps will be taken after investigation and on instructions from our higher authorities," he added.

MP Selun, however, has denied the allegations.

"They [police officials] did not even show me the respect I deserve as a sitting Whip of parliament," he said at a press conference at his residence in Chuadanga yesterday afternoon.

Selun has been involved with the AL since 1966. He was first elected a lawmaker in 2008 after four unsuccessful bids.

He became an MP from Chuadanga-1 again, this time uncontested, in January 5 elections last year.

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