Dhaka, Dec 16 – At least 182 people were injured in pre-election violence in Chattogram, Narsingdi, Bhola, Tangail, Chandpur, Bagerhat, Naokhali, Natore, Rangamati and Faridpur districts on Sunday.
In Chattogram, BNP contestant for Chattogram-10 constituency Abdullah Al Noman and his followers came under attack allegedly by Jubo League men while preparing for bringing out a Victory Day procession at Nayabazar in Halishahar of the port city in the afternoon.
At a press conference, Noman alleged that at least five BNP activists were injured in the attack but police did not take any legal action against the attackers and instead arrested their eight activists.
However, the BNP leader escaped the attack unhurt as the party men created a human wall around him and as he took shelter in a nearby house.
In Narsingdi, over 50 BNP leaders and activists suffered injuries when Awami League, Jubo League and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men reportedly attacked them while conducting election campaign at Pachdona Bazar in Palash upazila at noon.
At a press conference in the afternoon, BNP candidate for Narsingdi-2 constituency Dr Abdul Moyeen Khan claimed that the ruling party activists equipped with sticks, sharp weapons and firearms swooped on them around 12:40 pm.
The attackers opened fire targeting them and vandalised their cars that left over 50 party men injured, he added.
Moyeen Khan, a BNP standing committee member, however, escaped the attack unhurt.
Of the injured, 10 were sent to Dhaka Medical College Hospital and one was referred to the National Institute of Traumatology and Orthopaedic Rehabilitation in the capital as his condition was stated to be critical.
In Bhola, over 50 people were injured in a clash between AL and BNP men in Borhanuddin Upazila.
Five election offices of Awami League and five microbuses were vandalised and 20 motorcycles torched during the melee.
Witnesses said BNP leaders and activists gathered at Hakimuddin launchgaht in the morning to receive BNP candidate for Bhola-2 Hafiz Ibrahim who came to his area from Dhaka.
At one stage, they engaged in a clash with Awami League leaders and activists who were conducting electioneering in the area.
Five election offices of Awami League in Udaypur area and five microbuses were damaged while 20 bikes were set afire at that time.
On information, police rushed in and brought the situation under control.
In Tangail, the motorcade of an independent candidate from Kalihati seat Abdul Latif Siddique came under attack allegedly by the supporters of a local MP-backed union Parishad chairman at Soratail in Kalihati Upazila in the morning, leaving 20 people injured.
Protesting the attack, Latif Siddique started staging a sit-in in front of the office of the returning officer and deputy commissioner.
He announced to continue his sit-in until the withdrawal of the officer-in-charge of Kalihati Police Station.
Talking to reporters, he said followers of Gohaliabari UP chairman Hazrat Ali Talukder, led by him, swooped on his motorcade and vadalised four vehicles.
The attack left 20 of his followers injured, Latif Siddique claimed.
In Chandpur, at least 20 people, including a police inspector, were injured in a clash that took place between BNP and AL supporters at Puran Bazar Nitaiganj in the district town.
The injured police official is Abdur Rashid, 40, in-charge of Puran Bazar Police Outpost.
Locals said BNP candidate for Chandpur-3 constituency and district BNP convener Sheikh Farid Ahmed Manik along with his supporters was conducting campaign around 11:30 am.
At one stage, they clashed with Awami League men when a chase and counter-chase took place between them, leaving 20 injured.
On information, police rushed in and brought the situation under control, said Mohammad Nasim, officer-in-charge of Sadar Model Police Station.
Both parties blamed each other for the clash.
BNP contestant Manik alleged that a group of Awami League men attacked them while they were electioneering in the area.
However, district Awami League President said they were attacked first.
In Bagerhat, some Awami League men allegedly attacked BNP leaders and activists in the PC College area of the district town in the morning, injuring at least eight people.
District BNP President and party candidate for Bagerhat-2 parliamentary seat MA Salam alleged that he along with his leaders and activists in four microbuses was carrying out election campaign from the party office around 11:15 am when a group of Jubo League and BCL members attacked them.
However, district Jubo League convener Sardar Nasir Uddin denied the allegation, saying the attack might have taken place for BNP’s internal conflict.
Bagerhat Superintendent of Police Pankaj Chandra Roy said he was unaware of such incident.
In Natore, two BNP activists were injured in an attack allegedly by some miscreants at Station Bazar area on Sunday noon during an election campaign.
At a press conference, BNP candidate Sabina Yasmin for Natore-2 constituency alleged that a group of Awami League leaders and activists attacked them with hammers while conducting an election campaign, leaving several activists, including women, injured.
She described the condition of Abdul Obaidul Tanu and Shariful Islam Mukul as critical.
In Noakhali, three people, including an upazila parishad chairman, were injured in a clash between BNP and AL supporters in Senbagh upazila headquarters.
BNP candidate Zainul Abedin Farroque for Noakhali-2 (Senbagh and Sonaimuri) said a group of Awami League, Jubo League and BCL members attacked them while they were taking preparations for taking a Victory Day rally.
The attack left three of their activists injured, he said.
They also vandalised and torched the BNP office during the attack, he alleged.
On information, police rushed in and brought the situation under control, said Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Senbagh Police Station.
Meanwhile, Nuruzzaman Chowdhury, president of Senbagh municipality AL unit, claimed that no incident of attack took place.
In Rangamati, some BNP men allegedly attacked AL leaders and activists at Bhedvedi area of the district in the evening, injuring four people.
At a press conference, female MP from reserved seat Feroza Begum Chinu alleged that BNP men swooped on the ruling party men around 6:30 pm while they were conducting electioneering.
In Faridpur, at least 20 leaders and activists of ruling Awami League were injured as the supporters of an independent candidate in Faridpur-4 Mujibur Rahman Chowdhury Nixon their election campaign camp at Piajkhali Bazar in Sadarpur upazila in the evening.
Locals said the followers of Nixon, led by Deukhali union parishad chairman Omar Faruk Bapari, launched the attack.
On information, police rushed in and brought the situation under control, said Lutfar Rahman, officer-in-charge of Sadarpur Police Station.
Police arrested the UP chairman in this connection, he said.
In Brahmanbaria, Awami League men set fire and vandalised an office of BNP candidate Engineer Khaleque Hossain Mahmud Shyamal for Brahmanbaria-3 constituency on Saturday night, said Jahirul Islam, BNP district general secretary, in a press conference on Sunday. – UNB