Police arrested Sirhan Sharif Tamal, son of land minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif, and 10 others on early Friday in a case of vandalising a house and assaulting an elderly woman the previous evening at Shaheed Aminpara under Ishwardi upazila in Pabna.
On about 15 motorcycles, the raiders, allegedly led by Tamal, also Ishwardi municipality unit president of Juba League, and JL leader Rajib Hasan, also vandalised at least six shops, all belonging to the leaders and activists of their rival faction in local Awami League, police officials and AL insiders said.
According to local AL leaders and activists, Tamal belongs to the faction led by his father Shamsur, also Pabna district AL president and a parliament member from Pabna-4 constituency, while their rival faction is led by the minister’s son-in-law Abul Kalam Azad Mintu, also Ishwardi municipality mayor and Ishwardi upazila AL president.
Locals said that the attacks had been carried out as a sequel to past rivalries and for establishing supremacy in the area.
The 11 were arrested in separate drives jointly conducted by the district police and the Ishwardi police at different places of the upazila town and its surrounding areas, said Pabna superintendent of police Zihadul Kabir.
The arrested ones were among the 31 accused named in the case lodged on Thursday night by freedom fighter Atiar Rahman, father of the upazila Chattra League president Zubayer Biswas, for ransacking and vandalising his house and assaulting his 68-year-old wife Hazera Begum, according to Zihadul.
Hazera had been undergoing treatment at Pabna Medical College Hospital, hospital officials said.
Ishwardi police officer-in-charge Abdul Hai Talukder that the arrested 11 had been produced before Pabna chief judicial magistrate Abul Baset Bhulu Mia who had sent them to jail.
Besides Tamal, the other arrested were Masum Ahmed, of Madhya Arankhola, Sabirul Islam, Mehedi Hasan, Mahbub Hasan, Prince Islam and Zafar Iqbal, of Shershah Road, Rony Islam, of Purba Tengri, Jahangir Hossain, of Nur Mahalla, Fahad, of Aminpara, and Saifuddin, of village Ista, all under Ishwardi upazila.
Locals said that one of the followers of the minister had received minor injury during a scuffle with followers of Mintu at Dashuria Mor
at Ishwardi in the afternoon over a trivial matter.
But the minister’s followers later vandalised six shops, including two owned by Mintu, before moving to the house of Zubayer, a follower of Mintu. They vandalised the house and assaulted Zubayer’s elderly mother when she tried to resist them.
The Ishwardi police said that they had not received any case regarding vandalising any shop in the upazila town.
Denying any knowledge of the scuffle, Mintu claimed that his father-in-law had had miscreants do harm to him and his followers.
The minister could not be reached for his comments after several attempts from afternoon to night.
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