Protests flared up across the Wazirpur upazila, Barishal after Bishwajit Halder Nantu, chairman of Jalla union parishad and president of the local unit of Awami League was shot dead by unidentified gunmen at Karfa Bazar on Friday night.
According to the police and the locals a group of gunmen on motorbikes came to Bishwajit’s shop at Karfa Bazar at around 9PM and opened fire targeting him and fled, leaving him bleeding.
Bullets also hit Nihar Haldar, 35, as he was waiting at the shop.
Panic spread throughout the area and people ran for safety, witnesses told New Age.
They said that the locals immediately rescued Bishwajit and took him to Gaila Health Complex at Agailjhara from where he was shifted to the Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital in Barishal at about 11 PM where doctors declared him dead.
Nihar was also admitted to the SEBMCH. SEBMCH director M Bakir Hossain said three bullet injuries were found on Bishwajit.
Murder of the popular chairman sparked protests throughout the upazila.
Shop keepers in Karfa Bazar kept their shutters down on Saturday.
Villagers blockaded the road passing by the Karfa Bazar demanding immediate arrest of the culprits and bringing them to book.
The protesters took out a procession holding brooms and they vandalized a car carrying police troops.
They had heated talks with the police to express outrage over the murder of their leader.
Villagers in Ichaldi, Wazirpur and in the neighbouring villages as well as chairmen of different unions formed a human chain at Ichaldi to press the demand for identifying, immediate arrest of the killers.
AL insiders as well as locals said the ruling party is divided into two hostile groups, one led by Barishal district AL general secretary Talukder Mohammad Yunus, MP, and the other one was led by Wazirpur upazila parishad chairman Hafizur Rahman Iqbal and the now late Biswhajit Halder.
They said that Biswhajit became a victim of feuds within the AL.
Upazila chairman Iqbal alleged that Yunus, MP’s, private secretary Abu Sayeed was involved in the murder.
Sayeed could not be reached for comments.
Nirmal Biswas, a villager in Karfa, suspected AL’s internal feuds and Bishwajit’s strong anti-drug stand might have been behind his murder.
The victim’s father Shuklal Halder lodged a case on Saturday accusing unidentified assailants, said Wazirpur police station officer-in-charge Shishir Kumar Paul.
He told New Age that they detained five suspects, Siraj Shikder, Panna, Ayub Ali, Harashit and a former member of Jalla UP for interrogation.
He did not name the former UP member.
He said that investigations were on to nab the culprits.
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