Bangladesh Nationalist Party mayoral candidate in Sylhet staged a sit-in on Saturday while its mayoral candidate in Rajshahi threatened a general strike from today protesting against arrests of their party activists in the cities.
New Age staff correspondent in Sylhet reported that BNP mayoral candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury along with leaders and activists of the party staged a sit-in in front of Sylhet Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner’s office protesting at the arrest of two activists during electioneering.
They staged the sit-in for more than an hour from 2:45pm.
BNP leaders alleged that the police detained Rasel Ahmad, a resident Jhalopara at Dakkhin Surma in Sylhet city, and his neighbour Suman Ahmad Friday night while they were distributing leaflets in the area.
They demanded immediate release of the two detained campaigners.
Ariful alleged that police arrested his activists without any allegation and any warrant only to interrupt his campaign panicking the activists.
After concluding the sit-in at about 4:00pm, Ariful pledged to release the two activists through legal battle.
Metropolitan police deputy commissioner (south) Azhar Ali Shiekh denied that police arrested any worker of Ariful.
‘Osmani Nagar police in help of Dakkhin Surma police arrested two youths at about 3:00am on Saturday at their Jhalopara houses as they were wanted in a case,’ he said.
Osmani Nagar police station officer-in-charge Shahid Ullah said that the two youths were named in a case filed for destructive activities.
‘The arrested were already produced before the district judicial magistrate’s court which sent them to jail,’ he said.
Ruling Awami League mayoral candidate in Sylhet Badar Uddin Ahmad Kamran termed the sit-in a drama.
New Age Rajshahi University correspondent reported that BNP mayoral candidate Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul threatened to call a general strike from today if law enforcers did not stop arresting and intimidating BNP leaders and activists ahead of the city polls slated for July 30.
He issued the threat while talking with journalists after his electioneering at ward 3.
He said that several Juba Dal and Chhatra Dal leaders and activists were arrested on Saturday and Friday night.
He also said that AL mayoral candidate was pressuring on police to arrest BNP activists.
BNP leaders said that law enforcers arrested Rajshahi city BNP joint-secretary Khandakar Waresh Karni Diamond, ward-6 unit president Golam Nabi, ward-26 unit general secretary Iftiyar Mahmud Babu, ward-9 leader M Shibli, Juba Dal city unit senior vice-president Mainul Islam Haru nd Chhatra Dal Rajpara thana unit general secretary Hafizul Islam.
Mainul, Shibli and Hafizul were arrested Friday night and the rests were held on Saturday.
The law forcers also arrested two leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami, including its Rajshahi city unit nayeb-e-amir Abu Mohammad Selim.
Rajshahi Metropolitan Police said that the arrested were sent to jail in sabotage cases filed with different police stations.
Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul alleged that the law enforces had been arresting and intimidating BNP leaders and activists since the electioneering started on July 10.
Ruling AL mayoral candidate AHM Khairuzzaman Lition said that he was not aware of any arrest of BNP activists.
Metropolitan police commissioner AKM Hafiz Akter said that police were arresting those who were named and wanted in cases.
Local people said that AL lawmakers Abdul Wadud Dara, Ayen Uddin and N Shafiqul Islam Shimul were seen campaigning in favour of Khairuzzaman since Thursday violating the electoral code of conduct.
Newly elected Khulna city mayor Talukder Abdul Khaleque was also seen campaigning for the AL candidate.
Rajshahi city assistant returning officer Atiar Rahman said that they received complaints in this regard, but declined to reply what action they would take in this regard.
New Age correspondent in Barisal reported that returning officer served a notice on AL backed ward-12 councillor candidate Zakir Hossain asking for explanation why he abstracted Election Commission’s electronic voting training programme on Thursday.
Barisal city polls assistant returning officer Helal Uddin said that they served a show-cause notice on Sher-e-Bangla Medical College principal Bhaskar Saha for his alleged breach of electoral code of conduct.
Bhaskar Saha was asked to submit his reply in three days, said Helal Uddin.
He said that they served the show-cause notice based on a complaint of BNP candidate Mujibur Rahman’s lawyer Najimuddin’s that Awami League candidate Serniabat Sadik Abdullah carried election campaign in presence of Bhaskar Saha.
Bhaskar Saha said he received the notice and would take necessary step after consulting with his lawyer.
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