Ruling Awami League activists chased the local mayor for not having Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s portrait on the banner during Victory Day celebrations in Muktagachha upazila of Mymensingh on Saturday.
The incident took place at a flag hoisting ceremony and children’s parade to commemorate Victory Day at the Muktagachha pourashava square.
Muktagachha municipal mayor Mohammed Shahidul Islam, a former general secretary of the upazila BNP, was elected on a BNP ticket.
There was a Victory Day banner on the stage, but the banner had no picture of Bangabandhu. This caught the attention of the local Awami League leaders and activists.
They demanded to know why he hadn’t used the picture of Bangabandhu, leading to an altercation and at one point the irate AL men attacked the mayor.
He later took refuge in his office. The plastic chairs at the venue were damaged during the ruckus.
After the incident, a number of local AL leaders, including former mayor Abdul Hai, held a press conference at the Muktagachha press club.
They said that when they had asked why he hadn’t used Bangabandhu’s portrait on the banner, Shahidul Islam had replied that if Bangabandhu’s portrait was used, then Ziaur Rahman’s portraits would have to be used too.”
Former mayor Abdul Hai told Prothom Alo, “The present mayor insulted Bangabandhu when asked why the portrait hadn’t been used. This angered the local Awami League activists and they went on a rampage, but I brought things under control.”
In response, Shahidul Islam told Prothom Alo, “Every year Muktagachha pourashava celebrates Victory Day and Bangabandhu’s portrait is never on the banner. Even when Abdul Hai was the mayor, there was no portrait of Bangabandhu on the banner. After I became mayor, I just copied the banner used by the previous mayor, without Bangabandhu’s picture. This year suddenly they used the excuse of Bangabandhu’s picture being absent to confront me. I had to go back to my office. I did not insult Bangabandhu.”