Nizam Uddin Hazari, Awami League lawmaker of Feni-2 constituency, today alleged that sacked AL leader Joynal Hazari knows about the killers of Phulgazi Upazila Chairman Ekramul Haque.
Retorting, Joynal Hazari, a former AL lawmaker from the same constituency, blamed Nizam for the murder.
A group of 30-35 attackers shot Ekramul, also the president of the upazila AL, in the chest and then set fire to his car in broad day light before hundreds of people in Feni town Tuesday morning.
At least 23 people have so far been detained for interrogation in this connection.
Following media reports that Ekramul might have been killed due to his enmity with Nizam Uddin, the Feni-2 lawmaker said: "The identities of the main perpetrators can be known if Joynal Hazari is remanded."
He came up with the allegation at a press conference in Feni town, citing a report published in the daily Hazarika, a Feni-based newspaper owned by Joynal Hazari, where he said that killing or disappearance would take place in the area within short time.
The report was published on May 19, a day before Ekramul's murder.
The reports also said that three AL leaders including Ekramul might be the victims, claimed Nizam, also AL general secretary of Feni district unit.
Though Nizam was present at today's press conference, Feni Juba League joint general secretary Shushen Chandra Sheel read out the written statement on behalf of him.
JOYNAL HAZARI DENIES
Contacted by The Daily Star after the allegation, Joynal Hazari rejected the allegation outright and blamed Nizam and his supporters for the killing.
"Nizam Uddin Hazari is making irrelevant remarks over the killing as he has started to lose his control in the area," he added.
At least 23 people have so far been detained for interrogation in connection with the killing.
Local BNP leader Mahtab Uddin Chowdhury was named as the prime suspect in the case filed by Ekram's family.
Mahtab had contested in the March upazila polls from Phulgazi but lost to Ekram.
Ekram's brother Ziaul Haq Selim said he did not even know what was in the case against Mahtab and 35 other unnamed people. “My younger brother filed the case. And it was nothing but a formality. We don't know whose name was mentioned in it.”
Contacted, his younger brother Rezaul Haq said Mahtab was named as per the decision of the district AL. "It was not our decision."
Ekramul was once a close aide of Nizam. But he became the lawmaker's archrival when he sought to run in the January 5 national election from Feni-1, which is next to Feni-2 from where Nizam got elected.
Ekram had to quit the polls race in the face of pressure from Nizam, locals and district AL leaders say.
The conflict between the two centred mainly on controlling tenders of various development projects in the district and extortion from different sectors.
Early this month, Nizam got furious with Ekram, who allegedly supplied to journalists documents that show Nizam had come out of jail through producing fake papers before the High Court.