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BNP mayoral candidates accuse AL men of attacks during campaign

  • Published at 04:57 pm January 12th, 2020
Tabith Awal Ishraque Hossain
Photo of Tabith Awal (Left) and Ishraque Hossain Collected

About 5 BNP men have been detained from Tabith’s campaign at the time of one of the attacks

Two BNP-backed mayoral candidatesof the Dhaka City Corporation polls have accused Awami League men of attacking their supporters as campaign trails heat up on the third day of canvassing.

Tabith, the BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), said his activists and supporters came under indiscriminate attacks from Awami League men during a campaign event in Dhaka on Sunday.

The BNP backed candidate said at a campaign event on Shah Ali Mazar road of Mirpur 1, a group of men representing the ruling Awami League thwarted the procession march organized by Tabith’s supporters.

“They [Awami League] reportedly carried out premeditated attacks, throwing brickbats and other objects. We came under attack and the attackers shouted ‘Joy Bangla’," Tabith alleged.

Amid such violent hostility, at least one of the BNP campaigners suffered injuries.

Later on, the BNP event changed its course and Tabith's campaign rally went along a different route because the planned route could be used because of fear of further attacks.

Tabith said five of his activists were detained by law enforcement and that police too denied his call to set them free. 

He lamented that police remained silent observers during the attack though the law enforcers had protected him before the 2015 elections.

"I will continue campaigning peacefully despite the attack,"Tabith added.

Witnesses said a scuffle started between two groups when TabithAwal, the BNP mayoral candidate in Dhaka North, began Sunday’s campaign outside the shrine of Hazrat Shah Ali in Mirpur.

A handful of BNP men were injured in the skirmish.

Commenting on the reported attacks by Awami League men, the Mirpur police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mostafizur Rahman, told Dhaka Tribune that no such clashes involving the Awami League have been reported.

The OC said he does not know anything about detaining BNP men so far.

The DNCC mayoral candidate has been on the campaign trail for the third consecutive day yesterday in a public relations drive in the Mirpur area.

Tabith said they were not able to campaign properly as they faced attacks on Saturday as well, where one of his supporters named Al Amin was injured.

Tabith claimed, that police itself was trying to hold back BNP led campaigns in the DNCC polls.

He told reporters that he will inform the Election Commission about the difficulties he was facing in campaigning and urged the commissioner to play an effective role in routing out irregularities.

Ishraque calls upon EC to ensure level playing field

Meanwhile, BNP-backed Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossainon Sunday called upon the Election Commission to ensure level playing field for all candidates in the polls.

Bringing allegation of obstructing electioneering, Ishraque said: "Activists of the ruling party candidate carried out attacks on my followers today (Sunday). 

“They are still resisting my supporters and councillor aspirants in conducting election campaign in my constituency. "

He was speaking to the media while campaigning at the Dhjake Judges’ Court area.

He also claimed that the level playing field for holding the election in a free, fair and credible manner was yet to be ensured in DSCC.

However, Ishraque denied the allegation of assaults brought by Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, the Awami League backed candidate in DSCC..

"It was incorrect. We have evidence, photos that no supporters or activists of ours carried out any attack whatsoever on them. Their (Awami League) men attacked our workers instead," he said.

He claimed the windows of several cars were shattered in the alleged attacks, preventing his supporters and councilor candidates backed by his party from campaigning.

Top BNP veterans including KhandakerMosharraf Hossain, convener of the election steering committee, its coordinator Mirza Abbas, member secretary Abdus Salam also took part in the election campaign.

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