12:00 AM, December 20, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 06:57 AM, December 20, 2018

7 candidates attacked

Reza Kibria's motorcade comes under attack

Seven contenders for the December 30 election came under attack by alleged Awami League men in separate incidents yesterday.

In Habiganj, Jatiya Oikyafront candidate for Habiganj-1 Reza Kibria came under attack allegedly by some ruling party men. His motorcade was attacked allegedly by some men led by Jamal Ahmed Sumon, general secretary of Inatganj union Jubo League, around 7:00pm.

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The incident took place when Reza and supporters were electioneering in Banderbazar area in Nabiganj upazila, reports our Moulvibazar correspondent.

The attack left Fakhrul Islam Panna, former organising secretary of Sylhet city Chhatra Dal, injured, alleged Reza, son of former finance minister ASM Kibria.

Reza is contesting with the BNP electoral symbol “sheaf of paddy”.

Jamal, however, denied the allegation and said Reza's men swooped on them when they were electioneering for local AL candidate Gazi Mohammad Shahnawaz in the area.

Contacted, Parvez Alam Chowdhury, assistant superintendent of police in Habiganj, said no one complained to police over any attack as of 10:00pm.

Meanwhile, BNP Chattogram-16 nominee Jafrul Islam Chowdhury and 11 of his supporters were injured in an attack by alleged AL men      while campaigning at Saral area last  evening.

Jafrul alleged armed cadres of AL candidate Mustafizur Rahman attacked them around 5:30pm, leaving him and his supporters injured.

This newspaper could not reach Mustafizur for comments despite several attempts.

However, Banshkhali Police Station OC Md Kamal Hossain claimed that a running battle broke out between two groups of BNP men, which resulted in the attacks.

Meanwhile in Bogura, a campaign rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh candidate Aminul Farid, who is vying for Bogura-6 as a Left Democratic Alliance candidate, came under attack allegedly by supporters of local AL leader Nasimul Bari Nasim in Satmatha area around 6:40pm.

However, Bari denied the allegations.

In Narsingdi, at least 12 BNP men were injured and 10 cars and 12 motorbikes were vandalised when suspected AL men attacked a motorcade of BNP Narsingdi-3 nominee Manjur Elahi at East Shimulia village under Shibpur upazila yesterday afternoon.

Elahi told The Daily Star that many of his supporters, including some locals, were injured in the attack.

He added that they took shelter at the house of local BNP leader Renu Master but the attackers surrounded the house and vandalised it.

Contacted, Shibpur Police Station OC Abul Kalam Azad said police rushed to the spot after hearing about the incident and safely rescued the BNP candidate.

However, AL candidate for the same constituency Zahirul Haque Bhuiyan claimed that BNP men initiated the attacked on AL men who chased them in response.

Meanwhile, BNP Rajshahi-4 (Bagmara) candidate Abu Hena alleged he came under attack thrice during campaigning yesterday.

In a press conference held at a city hotel last night, Hena said AL men surrounded him when he went to Hamirkutsa village at 2:40pm but he managed to get away with police protection.

At 3:30pm, Hena claimed he came under attack again at Goalkandi area before police rescued him again.

Then, while he was coming out of Bagmara in the evening, his motorcade was attacked near Mohonpur upazila's border point. This time, the attackers damaged his car's windshields and side windows.

He escaped the attack unhurt, he claimed.

When contacted, Nasim Ahmed, OC of Bagmara Police station Said, the BNP candidate was with men wielding sticks who provoked villagers at Goalkandi and Hamirkutsa.

He added he was unaware of the damage to his car.

The upazila unit AL Acting Secretary Golam Sarwar said the villagers of Hamirkutsa and Goalkandi protested Hena's visit. “It occurred because Islamic militants set up camp at the villages and tortured the villagers in 2004 when Hena was the lawmaker,” he said.

He said no AL men had attacked them. “It was his men who attacked AL men,” he said, adding that Manjur Ali, a supporter of AL, was admitted   to Bagmara hospital after being attacked.

In Natore, BNP Natore-2 candidate Sabina Yasmin Chhobi was injured when her motorcade came under attack by alleged ruling party men at Trimohini area of Naldanga upazila yesterday noon.

Chhobi alleged that AL men launched the attack. However both AL's candidate Shafiqul Islam Shimul and the assistant returning officer (ARO) said a chase and counter-chase had taken place between the two groups. But none was injured.

In Faridpur, at least five BNP activists, including Liakot Hossain, vice-president of Faridpur BNP, were injured during the electioneering of BNP Faridpur-3 candidate Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yusuf in Chalkbazar area under Sadar upazila in the district yesterday.

Liakot was later admitted to Faridpur General Hospital.

Isarot Hossain, Yusuf's personal assistant, alleged that around 20 men in helmets suddenly attacked the BNP activists who were with Yusuf around 12:30pm.

AFM Nasim, OC of Kotwali Police Station said, “On information, we rushed to the spot but did not find any miscreants there.”

In Rajshahi, Bachchu Rahman, president of Mohonpur upazila Jubo Dal, was shot in both legs allegedly after being picked up by miscreants who identified themselves as detectives.

He was undergoing treatment at Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.

Saiful Islam, general secretary of the unit, said Bachchu was chased by some “outsiders” who were in a microbus around 4:00pm. Around an hour later, local BNP men found him injured in the neighbouring Baghmara upazila's Achinpara area.

Saiful alleged that Awami League men were involved in the incident.

However, the AL's upazila unit general secretary Mofiz Uddin Kobiraj denied the allegation and said no AL men were involved.

Mohonpur Police Station OC Abul Hossain said they were trying to nab the criminals involved in the incident.

In another incident, Bikolpodhara leader Mahi B Chowdhury's ancestral home in Munshiganj's Sreenagar came under a gun attack yesterday at around 9:00pm.

Yunus Ali, OC of Sreenagar Police Station, said no one was hurt in the incident. He added that they had recovered a bullet shell from the spot. Mahi was out campaigning at the time of the attack.

Elsewhere in Manikganj, suspected AL men attacked an election camp of Jatiya Party (JP) Manikganj-3 candidate Jahirul Alam Rubel at Panjankhara village under Sadar upazila. The attackers tore posters, leaflets and damaged other campaigning materials.

In Sherpur, miscreants vandalised an AL election camp at Bakerkanda Baghbari area under Sadar upazila yesterday.

At least 16 BNP candidates and 900 party activists were wounded as alleged ruling party men attacked them in different incidents around the country since December 10.

Additionally, alleged AL supporters attacked campaigns and motorcades of at least 30 BNP and Oikyafront candidates since December 10.

ARRESTS CONTINUE

Along with the violence, a spate of arrests have continued across the country, report our correspondents from different districts.

One more BNP candidate for the December 30 national election was sent to jail while over 75 of the party's men were arrested in different districts since Tuesday night.

With this, at least three BNP nominees have been arrested and jailed since the electioneering formally began on December 10.

A Kushtia court yesterday sent Reza Ahmed Bachchu Mollah, a BNP candidate from Kushtia-1 (Daulatpur) constituency, to jail on sabotage charges.

The District and Sessions Judge Arup Kumar Goswami passed the order when Reza appeared before the court and sought bail, Public Prosecutor of Kushtia Judge Court Advocate Anup Kumar Nandi said.

Nazrul Islam, OC of Daulatpur Police Station, told The Daily Star that police on the night of November recovered several bombs from a place close to Reza's residence at Taragunia village.

Afterwards, three cases were filed against 35 people, including Reza. He was on an eight-week High Court bail which had expired on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court yesterday sent the candidate for Narsingdhi-1 constituency Khairul Kabir Khokon to jail on charge of obstructing police from discharging their duties at Shahbagh in the capital. He had been in police custody since November 29 over a different charge of sabotage.

Earlier, BNP nominees for Gazipur-5 Fazlul Haque Milon was arrested and sent to jail on charges of sabotage on December 13. Similarly, GM Nazrul Islam, a Jamaat leader running on BNP ticket for Satkhira-4, was arrested and sent to jail on sabotage charges on December 16.

Meanwhile, in Satkhira, police arrested 45 BNP men in different cases on Tuesday night in separate drives at Ashasuni, Debhata and Kaliganj upazila. Following the arrests, BNP Satkhira-3 nominee Dr Shahidul Alam, at a press conference yesterday, alleged that it would be impossible to run in the polls if such arrests and harassment by police continued.

In Barishal, police arrested 14 BNP men from different spots early yesterday in different cases.

Police arrested the men to stop them from campaigning, alleged local BNP leaders, while police said the arrestees were accused in different criminal cases.

In Moulvibazar, five BNP leaders were arrested in Barlekha and Juri upazila, including Barlekha unit BNP president in Moulvibazar, yesterday afternoon on separate criminal cases.

Police have detained around 330 BNP men since December 10, according to media reports.


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