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Chaos at BNP headquarters, Gulshan office

  • Published at 04:51 pm December 8th, 2018
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Angry supporters start slogan outside the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office on December 8, 2018 Dhaka Tribune

Supporters of nomination deprived leaders lock down party headquarters and vandalize the BNP chief’s office

Angry supporters of BNP’s nomination deprived aspirants on Saturday attacked the BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office and had the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters locked down for several hours.

The incidents took place a day after BNP announced its list of candidates in 206 constituencies for the upcoming general election, slated for December 30.

Candidates for the rest of the seats – 94 – would be decided after discussion with the allies of the party, said BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.

Reacting to the party decisions, the attack at Khaleda Zia’s Gulshan office in the city occurred in the evening on Saturday, while the incident at Naya Paltan occurred earlier in the day.

Supporters of nomination deprived ANM Ehsanul Haque Milon, Selimuzzaman Selim and Taimur Alam Khandaker were involved in the vandalism of the Gulshan office.

Former education state minister Milon had sought nomination from the Chandpur 1 constituency, Selim from Gopalganj 1 and Taimur from Narayanganj 1.

Agitated supporters of the trio were seen hurling brickbats at the office windows and kicking the main gate.

During the attack at Gulshan, the BNP chairperson’s Adviser Ataur Rahman Dhali told the Dhaka Tribune: “These are not our men. They are the men of the government who are trying to sabotage the peaceful protest, to implement their agenda.”

Several hundred nomination aspirant supporters surround the BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office on Saturday, December 8, 2018 |Dhaka Tribune

Independent TV cameraperson Md Shah Alam was also injured at the time.

bdnews24.com’s Senior Correspondent Sumon Mahmud, who was stuck inside the office, said over the phone: “Several hundred leaders and activists have surrounded the office. They are throwing brickbats and trying to break the main gate.”

The agitators also vandalized several nearby shops.

Despite calls made from inside the office over loudspeakers, their protests continued late into the night.

The protesters were urged to end their demonstration and return by 10am Sunday, when the official nomination letters would be distributed among the candidates.

Naya Paltan commotion

Earlier in the day, Milon’s supporters began protesting in front of the party’s Naya Paltan headquarters around 12pm, demanding his nomination in Chandpur 1 instead of Mosharraf Hossain, the chief of the party’s Malaysian chapter.

Later, the activists locked down the main entrance, with a number of BNP leaders, including Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, trapped inside.

They, however, unlocked the gates around 2:15pm after giving a 12-hour ultimatum to BNP to nominate Milon for the Chandpur 1.

Responding to a query, Chandpur’s Kachua upazila BNP unit Organizing Secretary Jahangir Alam Faruqi said: “Even while living abroad, Milon kept in touch with the party leaders and activists.

“However, the person [Mosharraf] who was nominated by BNP has no standing with the local people. There is no alternative to Milon in recovering this constituency in the polls.”

Rizvi later told reporters that the party high command could give nomination to anyone they want in line with the party’s jurisdiction.

Rizvi added that the party would soon take a decision about Saturday's protest.

Shamsuddin Didar, member of the BNP chief’s media wing, later said that no one was locked now in both offices, but added: “Those who had locked down the party headquarters in Naya Paltan and attacked the Gulshan office are intruders.”

“The party’s decision to nominate someone was based on his or hers popularity and capacity. The party’s decision will has to be followed,” he added.

Talking to reporters afterwards, Taimur said that the protest at Gulshan occurred against the party’s decision to nominate Abdul Malek Ratan for the Narayanganj 1 constituency.

Taimur’s supporters simmered down after Mirza Fakhrul took him inside the office and urged him to calm down his followers.

“We are Zia’s soldiers and we are with the party. It is only natural that some of us will be nominated and some of us will not,” he said.

Sunday is the last day to withdraw candidature for the 11th general election.

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