A union parishad chairman was gunned down by unidentified miscreants at Arkanda village in the Raipura upazila of Narsingdi on Thursday afternoon.
Deceased Md Sirajul Haque, 70, was the chairman of Banshbari union parishad in the upazila.
Delwar Hossain, officer-in-charge of Raipura police station, said a group of miscreants opened fire on him around 1:30pm while he was returning from the upazila headquarters by motorbike and left him critically injured.
Sirajul was taken to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital, where doctors declared him dead around 3:15pm, he added.
“When Sirajul Haque was brought to this hospital, he was dead. He received severe bullet injuries to the head, left shoulder, and left hand,” MN Mizanur Rahman, the hospital’s resident medical officer, told the Dhaka Tribune.
The attackers shot him at point blank range, the doctor said, after examining the wounds.
According to local sources, Sirajul, a six-time chairman of the union parishad, might have been killed over previous animosity with the supporters of his rival, Hafizur Rahman Shahed Sarkar, a local Awami League leader who died of cardiac arrest in March this year.
Meanwhile, holding Hafizur’s supporters responsible for the murder, those loyal to Sirajul set fire to the house of one of the former’s supporters soon after the incident, according to Raipura police.
“We are trying to bring the situation under control. Additional troops have been deployed in the locality,” said Delwar.
Quoting the deceased’s son Ashraful Haque, Banshbari union’s Awami League General Secretary Md Babul Miah said: “A popular leader in the area, Sirajul had been involved with BNP since 1988. In 2014, he joined Awami League and became a leader of the party’s Raipura upazila unit.
“Having failed to get the Awami League nomination to contest the last polls to the union parishad, he took part in this as an independent candidate and won the election, beating the party-backed candidate Hafizur.”
Since then, there had been fierce rivalry between the duo. The situation had deteriorated to the point where their supporters became embroiled in violent conflicts on several occasions, Babul further said.
“I think it was a planned murder committed by the supporters of Hafizur,” he alleged.
Delwar said Sirajul’s co-rider, who was also injured in the incident, is now undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
“We may be able to learn about the incident in detail from him after he recovers.”
The body of Sirajul was sent to Narsingdi Sadar Hospital for an autopsy.