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BNP claims EC secretary’s move instigated Naya Paltan clash, demands action against him

  • Published at 01:40 pm November 20th, 2018
BNP police clash at Nayapaltan Mehedi Hasan
Attackers set a police car on fire during the clash between BNP activists and police in Nayapaltan, Dhaka on Wednesday, November 14, 2018 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The party sent letters to the chief election commissioner regarding the Naya Paltan clash and drones

In an apparent attempt to turn the narrative in its favour, BNP on Tuesday alleged that Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed deliberately misguided the commission into issuing a ban on gatherings and processions by nomination-seekers in front of the party office, which led to the November 14 clash.    

Branding Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia as an “Awami League man,” the party also alleged that the city’s top cop was a part of the conspiracy hatched by Helaluddin Ahmed and that had become quite clear with his post-clash comments.   

A BNP delegation, led by the party’s Joint Secretary General Moazzem Hossain Alal, submitted a series of letters addressed to Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda in this regard.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir signed the letters.

In one of the letters, BNP has demanded that legal action be taken against everyone who hatched the conspiracy to instigate the clash, including Helaluddin and Asaduzzaman.

The party also warned that they would take refuge in the law if the commission did not take action.

Also Read- 6 Chhatra Dal men arrested for Naya Paltan clash

The letter mentioned that the commission did not even lift a finger when ruling party nomination seekers and their men put on an elaborative show and turned the whole nomination process into festivities, which led to traffic gridlock and immense public suffering in and around the Dhanmondi area for almost a week.  

The party also said two of the ruling party men were killed during a factional clash, but the police did not take any measures against them.  

“However, the Election Commission secretary and DMP commissioner were shocked to see people's enthusiasm during BNP's nomination paper distribution process. Therefore, they said the electoral code of conduct has been violated, which shows their partisan attitude.”

The letter further said the commission's directive to uphold the code of conduct has hampered the participation of people including leaders, activists and followers. 

“Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed's confusing briefing and the DMP commissioner’s post-incident speech have given clear indication that they had ulterior motives.”

Also Read- Political peace shattered as BNP activists turn violent in Dhaka

In the letter, BNP claimed many of their activists were injured during the clash and cases were filed against them. 

Police has accused 472 activists in three cases, arrested 70, and 38 were placed in remand.

Presence of unmanned aerial vehicle in Naya Paltan; BNP concerned 

In another letter to the Election Commission, BNP expressed concern over the use of an unmanned aerial vehicle, commonly known as a drone, near the party's Naya Paltan office, which incited fear among the activists and workers who were there to buy nomination forms. 

According to some media outlets and eyewitness, drones were seen flying over the BNP office on November 15.

The letter mentioned that this unusual incident seemed pre-planned, with the intention of creating fear among BNP activists, because only law enforcement agencies have the authority to use drones. 

The letter also said it was necessary to stop the mechanics of trying to hold the BNP from election by igniting fear in the minds of the leaders, activists and followers. They believe the commission will respond to this incident quickly as a constitutional organization. 

BNP said they believe the Election Commission will take any measure to stop any kind of conspiracies, because if there is any disruption during the election, the commission will be responsible for it.

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