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Gopibagh BNP-AL clash: Police arrest Ishraque's PS over shooting

  • Published at 02:59 pm January 30th, 2020
gopibagh clash bnp
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) present Ariful Islam before media on Thursday, January 30, 2020 Dhaka Tribune

The arrestee has been identified as Ariful Islam, 47, hailing from Barisal

Detectives from Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have arrested one person allegedly for firing gunshots during a campaign rally of BNP mayor candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation elections Ishraque Hossain.  

The arrestee has been identified as Ariful Islam, 47, hailing from Barisal. Police also identified Ariful as a former Chhatra Dal leader and Ishraque's Personal Secretary (PS).

But, Israque denied the police claim saying, "I have no personal secretary."

DMP's DB Additional Commissioner Abdul Baten confirmed the matter during a press conference at DMP Media and Public Relations Department in Dhaka on Thursday.

Ariful was arrested on Thursday around 12am after conducting a special operation at the Metropolitan Project area under Hatirjheel police station.  

“During the arrest, a foreign pistol and 50 rounds of bullets were recovered from his possession,” Baten said.

He said clashes and shootings took place during an election campaign rally of Ishraque in Gopibagh area under Wari police station on January 26. 

“A case was filed with Wari police station in connection with the incident. In addition, the detective branch of police also started a shadow investigation in this regard.”

Baten said police analyzed the local CCTV footage and photos of the crime scene collected by various electronic and print media.  At one point, video footage and still images were collected to identify the gunman, who was wearing a helmet during the clash.  

“We observed his face, clothes, shoes, helmets, among others, from the video footage and still images. After viewing the photographs of the suspect without the helmet with photographs taken shortly before the shooting, we identified the person as Ariful Islam and we arrested him,” he added.

DMP Additional Commissioner Baten said Ariful had initially confessed to the police that he had fired his gun at the rally.

“We have collected bullets from the crime scene. We will analyze those with the recovered pistol to determine whether this firearm was used at the rally. We will also investigate whether the weapon used was legal or illegal,” he added.

When sought his comment over the arrest, Ishraque Hossain said: "I have no personal secretary.  You know, I am contesting the election from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) while thousands of its activists and leaders are participating in the election campaigns voluntarily.

"A mass wave has been created in favour of Sheaf of Paddy and the publicity (over the arrest) is being made in a planned way only to divert people's attention from it," he added.