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BNP's Khokon seeks security from EC, alleges harassment by goons

  • Published at 10:31 pm December 11th, 2018
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File photo of BNP Joint Secretary General Barrister AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon Dhaka Tribune

Khokon, an aspirant for the Noakhali 1 constituency, has alleged that he is afraid of being attacked

BNP Joint Secretary General AM Mahbub Uddin Khokon on Tuesday sent a letter to Election Commission seeking security because of alleged criminal activities in his constituency.

Khokon, an aspirant for the Noakhali 1 constituency, has alleged that he is afraid of being attacked, as criminal activities are rampant in his electoral area - Chatkhil and Sonaimuri - since November 27.

In the letter sent to the chief election commissioner (CEC), he claimed that criminals, carrying firearms, are organizing showdowns on motorcycles and auto rickshaws, openly raiding and vandalizing houses of BNP leaders and activists, and threatening them over phone to leave the areas.

He said: "Armed men are firing openly on behalf of the boat symbol but the police are not taking any action against them."

Instead a number of BNP and Jatiya Oikya Front supporters have been arrested from his constituency, he alleged.

The candidate had sent a letter earlier to the commission stressing the need for recovery of illegal firearms to hold a fair and credible election, and in a peaceful manner. 

Khokon urged the CEC to take necessary initiatives to ensure security for the candidate.

EC has no control over police

BNP Joint Secretary General Khokon alleged that the Election Commission has no authority or power over the police.

He made the remarks while briefing the media after a meeting with the four election commissioners and Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed on Tuesday.

He said: "Two BNP activists have been shot. They are now hospitalized but the police refused to file cases in this regard."

Khokon said police have become aggressive towards the BNP and Oikya Front activists from the very first day of the formal election campaign at Chatkhil and Sonaimuri area.

"They are inspecting houses of BNP leaders and activists without any reason."

Despite the directives from Election Commission to stop mass arrests police continue to do so, he alleged.

"Returning officer cannot make a level playing field since police, government officials and Awami League leaders have ganged up against the BNP and Oikya Front leaders and activists."

He also demanded the transfer and punishment of the police officers in question.

Replying to a question, Khokon said the Election Commission has assured the BNP that they will take the necessary action.

Voters being harassed

BNP leader Maj (retd) Hafiz Uddin Ahmed on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that voters were being intimidated and harassed in his Bhola 3 constituency.

"Voters are being intimidated while repression of BNP leaders and activists has been on the rise," he said while talking to reporters at the secretariat in Dhaka after filing the complaint.

The written complaint was handed over to Election Commissioner Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury.

Hafiz Uddin claimed that he could not go to his electoral area due to fear for life as "terrorists" equipped with lethal weapons were "attacking" innocent BNP leaders and activists.

Many senior leaders, including the Jubo Dal district unit President Jamal Uddin and its General Secretary Selim, are now receiving treatment at the hospital after being injured in attacks, he alleged.

The BNP leader claimed that the law-and-order situation has worsened ahead of the election as the commission is playing a silent role instead of conducting drives to recover illegal firearms.

The 11th parliamentary election is scheduled to take place on December 30.

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