BNP claims Awami League men carried out the attack
The BNP candidate for Pabna 4 constituency in the 11th general election, Habibur Rahman, has been stabbed and injured by unidentified assailants.
The incident took place around 12pm on Wednesday, a while before one of his campaign rallies at Alhaj High School in the Ishwardi upazila, in Pabna.
Locals said that septuagenarian Habibur and his supporters were preparing for the scheduled rally at the school ground, when the assailants vandalized his motorcade and attacked his supporters and BNP activists with sharp weapons.
Habibur's nephew Sumon Mondol, who was present at the scene, claimed the attackers were a group of local leaders and activists of the ruling Awami League.
Habibur, who is an adviser to the BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia, and the other injured were rushed to the Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex and was taken to the Pabna General Hospital when his condition deteriorated.
Later in the afternoon, Habibur was taken to Square Hospital in Dhaka via air ambulance for better treatment, said his younger brother Bipul Hossain.
Square Hospital’s customer service officer Achintya Chakrabortty told the Dhaka Tribune that the BNP leader was brought to the hospital around 7pm.
“He underwent a surgery right away and is currently under the observation of our doctors,” he said.
“There are multiple sharp weapon wounds on his buttocks, thighs and legs. He has lost a lot of blood. But he is out of danger,” Achintya added.
The other injured persons who were admitted to the Ishwardi Upazila Health Complex included Barkat Ali, Ramzan Ali, Ripon Hossain, Bir Ali and Bhola Pramanik.
Ishwardi’s Assistant Returning Officer Ahmed Hossain Bhuiyan said they were informed about the incident and law enforcement agencies were working to identify the attackers.
Terming the attack “very unfortunate,” he said: “We are doing everything we can to ensure a peaceful election environment.”
However, Ishwardi police station Officer-in-Charge Bahauddin Faruki said that they had detained seven people for their suspected involvement in the attack on Habibur and his supporters.
Additional reporting by Kamrul Hasan