AL shows strength as BNP's Nov 5 Barishal rally nears
There is a great deal of tension over the BNP's rally in Barishal as the local Awami League men started staging showdowns ahead of the pre-scheduled event.
At least 19 BNP men were injured in the last two days after they were attacked, allegedly by the ruling party men, while campaigning for the rally scheduled on November 5.
Multiple groups of the Jubo League, the ruling party's youth front, brought out processions in the city's Sadar Road, Kashipur and Palashpur areas on Monday night.
Around 8:30pm on Monday, the AL men came face to face with the BNP men who were distributing leaflets for the upcoming rally.
"At one stage, the Jubo League men attacked us, leaving at least three of our partymen injured," said Moniruzzaman Faruk, convener of Barishal city BNP.
In a separate incident, a group of BNP men were attacked allegedly by AL men in Banaripara upazila bus station area around 2:30pm yesterday.
"A district-level senior leader and five other activists of our party were injured in the attack," said BNP's Barishal city unit member secretary Mir Jahidul Kabir.
Besides, four other BNP men were also injured in a separate attack in the upazila's Uttarpar area around half an hour later, Kabir claimed.
However, Masud Alam Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of Banaripara Police Station, said he did not know anything about any such attacks.
On Monday morning, at least six other BNP activists were injured in an attack, allegedly by the Jubo League men, in Ujirpur upazila's Ichaldi Bus Stop area.
"Overcoming all the hurdles and obstruction of the Awami League, we will make our rally successful at any cost. We expect that thousands of people will join the rally," said Moniruzzaman Faruk.
The Jubo League central committee will hold a grand rally at Suhrawardy Udyan in the capital on November 11 to mark its 50th anniversary. The organisation's leaders and activists from across the country are expected to join the programme.
"We [AL, Jubo League and Chhatra League] are bringing out processions and conducting campaigns to make our November 11 programme successful," said Gazi Naimul Hossain Litu, vice president of Barishal city AL.
"We neither obstructed the BNP, nor attacked the partymen," Litu told The Daily Star yesterday.
The BNP has been holding rallies in the divisional cities to protest the price hike of essentials. Transport strikes were called ahead of its recent rallies in Mymensingh, Khulna, and Rangpur.
Now, bus owners and three-wheeler workers in Barishal have called for a two-day strike till November 5.
The BNP alleged that these strikes are a part of the AL's attempt to bar BNP supporters from joining the rallies.
About the allegations, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan and Information Minister Hasan Mahmud, in separate programmes on October 27, said the ruling party had nothing to do with the strikes as the transport associations were "independent".
However, according to reports, almost all the top leaders of the transport associations that called the strikes are either of the ruling party or its allies.