4 killed in 2 months in clashes over UP polls in Mehendiganj
At least four people have been killed in a series of clashes over the UP elections of Uttar and Dakkhin Ulania Union Parishad in Mehendiganj upazila of Barishal in the last two months.
More than 50 people have been injured and 20/25 houses vandalized in the clashes.
On May 20, Jamal Dhali's house in Saldi village of North Ulania union was attacked by Kalam Bepari's supporters while a wedding ceremony was in progress. Jamal Dhali's cousins-- Abdus Sattar Dhali and Siddikur Rahman--were killed and 15/20 people were injured in this incident.
Locals said in the last Dhulkhola UP election, Awami League nominated candidate Jamal Dhali and rebel candidate Kalam Bepari contested and both of them lost to the BNP candidate. Since then, there have been sporadic clashes between supporters of both candidates, leading to the attack at the wedding party.
On April 11, clashes broke out between supporters of Awami League candidate Milon Chowdhury and rebel candidate Ruma Begum at Sultani village in Dakshin Ulania union Parishad in the upazila. Saiful Sardar, a supporter of Ruma Begum, and Sayed Chowdhury, a cousin of Milon Chowdhury, were killed in the incident. The two lost their lives as a result of clashes over the union parishad election, locals said.
On December 4, 30/35 people, including police, were injured in a clash between the two chairman candidates and police in the Dakshin Ulania Union Parishad election in Mehendiganj upazila.
At least four people were also injured in clashes between supporters of a rival candidate on December 4, in Uttar Ulania Union Parishad elections.
Though the election has been postponed in these two centers, the clashes have not stopped.
Abul Kalam, officer-in-charge of Mehendiganj Police Station, said that the number of accused in the four murders in the upazila was more than hundred and police are trying to arrest all of accused.
Local people alleged that MP of this constancy Pankaj Nath has fueled a part of the conflict.
Asked about the matter, he said, the situation has heated up after the secretary of the district Awami League, Talukder Md Younus, delivered a speech during the UP election here. The MP denied his involvement in any violence.
District Awami League Secretary Talukdar Md Younus denied the allegations, saying he was not involved in local politics.
Meanwhile, former upazila chairman Ad Mansur Ahmed has expressed concern over the killings.
"People want to live here peacefully, we have to make sure of that anyway," he said.
Additional Superintendent of Police (Mehendiganj) Sukumar Roy said that political clashes were going on one after another. Although law enforcers are active, political action is necessary to resolve crisis. We have already informed the higher authorities.
Superintendent of Police (SP), Barishal Range, Md Maruf Hossain said that everything is being done to control law and situation by the police here. Two police camps have been set up in the two unions. Forty people have been arrested in the case. Police are in a tough position here.