Dhaka, Dec 11 (UNB) – Two Awami League men were killed and 72 people were injured in pre-election violence in Noakhali, Faridpur, Thakurgaon, Manikganj, Bogura and Jhalakathi districts on Tuesday, the second day of electioneering for the forthcoming parliamentary elections.
The candidates in other districts also carried out spirited campaigns throughout the day visiting voters at their houses, different markets, shops and localities, and sought vote for them.
However, both the ruling Awami League and BNP’s alliance Jatiya Oikyafront will formally kick off their election campaign on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, also the President of Awami League, will formally inaugurate her party’s election campaign from Tungipara on December 12.
Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to flag off her party’s election campaign from Gopalganj on Wednesday morning.
She will first pay homage to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at his mausoleum at Tungipara in Gopalganj.
Sheikh Hasina will place wreath at the grave of Bangabandhu and joined a munajat and offering of fateha.
She will leave Dhaka at 8am for Gopalganj by road from her official residence Ganobhaban.
Hasina will address a public rally at Sheikh Lutfar Rahman Government Degree College ground at Kotalipara in the afternoon.
On her way back to Dhaka, Sheikh Hasina will address a rally at Bhanga circle in Faridpur, Faridpur circle, Rajbari road circle, Manikganj bus stand, Rabeya Medical College and Hospital premises in Dhamrai and Savar bus stand, AL joint secretary Abdur Rahman told a press conference today.
Jatiya Oikyafront is going to start its election campaign by offering fateha at the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) and Shah Paran (R) on Wednesday.
Dr Kamal Hossain, JSD president Abdur Rob, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddiqui and some other leaders of their alliance are expected to go to Sylhet to launch the electioneering.
After offering fateha at the two shrines, the alliance leaders will conduct election campaign in Sylhet city, though the candidates of the alliance informally launched campaign on Monday after the distribution of the election symbol by the Election Commission.
The candidates of BNP and its alliance partners informally launched their election campaign in the capital on Tuesday.
BNP candidate for Dhaka-8 seat Mirza Abbas along with his wife Afroza Abbas, another party candidate for Dhaka-9 constituency started campaign from Shahjahanpur are by distributing leaflets among pedestrians and shopkeepers.
Before kicking off the campaign, Abbas at a press conference at his Shahjahanpur residence alleged that their family members have been suffering from a sense of insecurity as the law enforcers constantly following them.
He said his around 3,500 active workers are staying in jail. “So, how will I carry out election campaign? Afroza Abbas is also facing the same problem.”
Meanwhile, two BNP leaders went the Election Commission seeking the security of their activists and stopping the drive to arrest them.
BNP leader Maj (retd) Hafizuddin Ahmed on Tuesday lodged a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that voters were being intimidated and harassed in his constituency Bhola-3.
He claimed that he cannot go to his electoral area due to fear for life as ‘terrorists’ equipped with lethal weapons were ‘attacking’ innocent BNP leaders and activists.
Meanwhile, BNP candidate for Noakhali-1 Mahbub Uddin Khokon lodged several complaints with the EC, alleging that police were making the wholesale arrest of BNP leaders and activists in his constituency and elsewhere across the country.
Violence mars election campaign
In Noakhali, A Jubo League leader, Mohammad Hanif, was killed in a pre-election fight between the supporters of Awami League and BNP over electioneering at Eojbalia in Sadar upazila on Tuesday.
Officer-in-charge (OC) of Sudharam Police Station Anwar Hossain said
The supporters of Awami League’s Noakhali-4 election candidate Ekramul Karim Chowdhury and BNP’s M Shahjahan engaged in a fight over election campaign.
Amid a chase and counter-chase during the melee, Hanif suffered bullet wounds.
In another incident, another Jubo League leader, M Zahir Uddin, 30, suffered bullet injuries in an attack by miscreants at Karimpur in Sadar upazila around 12:30pm.
Meanwhile, ruling party activists allegedly attacked BNP leaders and activists in Kabirhat upazila over holding a rally of BNP candidate for Noakhali-5 seat Moudud Ahmed, leaving 30 people injured.
Witnesses said a group of Awami League activists swooped on BNP workers while they were preparing for holding a rally there around 11am. Moudud was scheduled to address the rally.
In Faridpur, a local Awami League leader was killed in an attack allegedly by BNP supporters at Goaldangi in Sadarupazila at night.
The deceased was identified as Yusuf Al Mamun, 40, cultural affairs secretary of North Channel union unit of Awami League in the upazila.
Witnesses said Mamun had an altercation with BNP activists Mazid Sheikh and Aziz at a local tea stall around 8:30pm over the upcoming election and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
At one stage, the two BNP men punched him and beat him with a stick whereby the AL leader collapsed on the ground.
He was taken to Faridpur Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead.
Local ward AL president Lalon Fakir was also injured as he tried to prevent the attack.
District AL vice-president and Zila Parishad Chairman Lokman Hossain Mridha claimed that the attackers are the supporters of BNP candidate from Faridpur-3 constituency Chowdhury Kamal Ibne Yousuf.
North Channel union BNP president JamiruddinHazi saidMamun and Aziz are of same age and they used to move together. “The accident happened following an altercation between them. This is not a planned incident.”
Officer-in-charge of Sadar Police Station AFM Nasim said policemen were deployed in the area.
In Thakurgaon, the motorcade of BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir came under attack at Danarhat in Sadar upazila at noon on his way to the district town from Saidpur Airport, leaving at least 10 people injured.
BNP district president Taimur Rahman alleged that a group of Awami League leaders and activists made the attack on Fakhrul’s motorcade around 12:05 pm, damaging at least eight vehicles of the BNP leader’s motorcade.
In Bogura, at least 12 people were injured when the motorcade of BNP aspirant Golam Mohammad Siraj for Bogura-5 constituency came under attack in Dhunat upazila headquarters around 10:30 am while he was going to attend election rallies at Nimgachhi and Elangi of the upazila.
However, Golam Mohammad Siraj, a former MP, at a press briefing blamed the activists of the ruling party for the attack.
In Manikganj, the motorcade of BNP aspirant Afroza Khan Rita of Manikganj-3 constituency came under an attack by a group of miscreants near Kalu Shah Shrine in Saturia upazila around 4pm during electioneering, leaving 10 people injured.
In Barishal, the motorcade of BNP candidate of Jhalakathi-2 constituency Jeba Amin Khan came under attack by miscreants in airport area on Tuesday afternoon on her way to Jhalakathi.
She claimed some miscreant chanting ‘Joy Bangla’ slogans attacked her motorcade as she was heading towards her constituency for electioneering.
Jeba said the attackers hurled stones at her vehicle and damaged four motorbikes of her activists.