People ‘disguised as freedom fighters’ are banding together in the BNP and the Jatiya Oikyafront ahead of the national election, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader claimed on Sunday.
“The people of Bangladesh will defeat this evil force,” he said after paying homage to freedom fighters at Shaheed Muktijuddha Mausoleum in Feni.Quader accused the BNP and Oikyafront of “joining hands with sinister forces” after realising that they would not win the December 30 national polls.
The BNP boycotted the last election, but decided to contest the next one. Its Chairperson Khaleda Zia, a former prime minister, is currently in jail in corruption cases. In October, BNP joined newly-formed political alliance Oikyafront, whose key demands include Khaleda’s release and national election under a non-partisan body.
In Noakhali, Quader said there were two political forces in the country. “The one in favour of Liberation War and democracy is led by Sheikh Hasina. The other is the evil communal force defeated in 1971. It has gathered in Oikyafront under BNP’s leadership,” he said.Quader was confident about winning the next general election. “We achieved victory in the Liberation War under Bangabandhu’s leadership and will win the election led by Sheikh Hasina,” he said.
‘BNP responsible for Noakhali violence’
The Awami League leader blamed the Oikyafront for electoral violence. He claimed that the alliance had engaged in “provocative activities” after failing to gain popular support.“The BNP plotted the Noakhali attack to create unrest,” he alleged, replying to a question. “They also vandalised Awami League election office and shops.”
Four people, including Barrister Mahabub Uddin Khokon, reportedly suffered bullets injuries after Awami League and BNP activists clashed in Sonaimuri municipality on Saturday afternoon. Thirty-six more people were injured.Quader said police had to intervene and fire rubber bullets to control the situation. “Khokon was hit by rubber bullets and did not need to stay in hospital … [he]left after receiving first aid,” the Awami League leader said.
Emdadul Haque, Sonaimuri Police Station’s inspector (investigation), claimed there was no firing and suggested that Khokon “might have been hit by splinters from an improvised bomb.” BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi alleged that Sonaimuri Police Station Officer-in-Charge Abdul Mazid himself shot Khokon to kill him.