A metropolitan magistrate court in Dhaka on Monday sent five activists of Bangladesh Nationalist Party to police custody for interrogation in connection with a case filed over an attack on the canvassers of BNP’s Dhaka south city mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain at Gopibagh on the previous day.
The case was filed with the Wari police station on Sunday night by a leader of ruling Awami League in connection with the Gopibagh clash between AL and BNP activists.
During Monday’s electioneering, BNP’s mayoral candidates for the two cities of Dhaka complained that the Awami League had been hatching conspiracies to rig and manipulate the forthcoming city elections on February 1.
They called on the voters to turn up in polling centres to prevent rigging.
The ruling party’s candidates, meanwhile, alleged that BNP was involved in creating anarchy to foil the elections.
Representative teams of both the AL and BNP separately met the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners on the day and traded blame on each other for creating unstable situation ahead of the elections.
The chief election commissioner, however, told reporters that the situation was under control and that the election environment was good.
Besides, the home ministry’s public security department on Monday banned the carrying and display of all types of firearms from January 1 to February 6 on the occasion of the Dhaka north and south city elections.
An ward-level Awami League leader Maksud Ahmed of Wari filed the case on Sunday night naming 50 BNP activists and 100 to 15 unnamed others alleging that the BNP activists, in an agitating mood, had attacked their temporary election camp, beat them and opened fire that injured several AL activists, said sub-inspector Julfikar Ali of the police station who has been investigating the case.
Later, he said that they arrested five named accused Jamil Ahammed Tuhin, Billal Hossain, Sohel, Faruk and Akram Hossain Munna, and placed them before the Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Abu Sufian Md Noman’s court seeking seven days to question each of them.
But the court granted only one day for each of them.
The police official said that they were trying to catch the other suspects in the case.
On Sunday, activists of the AL and the BNP got into a clash while BNP candidate Ishraque Hossain’s election campaign came under attack at Gopibagh in the Old Town of Dhaka on Sunday afternoon, leaving several people, including journalists, injured.
Following the attack, Ishraque on Sunday night at his Gopibagh house’s election office alleged that he had submitted complains to the Election Commissioner and Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner stating the situation and alleged that they could not file any case as Wari police did not cooperate with them.
The police station’s officer-in-charge, Azizur Rahman denied the allegation.
BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, emerging from a meeting with the chief election commissioner and other election commissioners at the Election Commission building in the capital, said that the ruling AL filed a case against BNP leaders and activists though the AL men carried out attack on BNP activists.
He alleged that the AL had set a standard of filing cases against the victims after attack and that the EC was not taking action against the ruling party candidates though they were violating electoral code of conduct at every steps of electioneering.
He said that the AL candidates built at least 100 election campaigning offices occupying walkways in the capital and they made campaigning materials also violating the polls code.
Besides, emerging from a meeting with CEC, AL national election conducting committee co-chairman HT Imam said that BNP people conducted attack on their campaign at Gopibagh in a pre-planned way to foil the election.
CEC KM Nurul Huda, talking to reporters after visiting the Electronic Voting Machine demonstration training at the Central Women’s College in the Old town of Dhaka on Monday, said that the environment for Dhaka North and South City elections has not been out of control yet.
He also said that the electoral area of the cities of Dhaka was under the control of the Election Commission, except few incidents.
During Monday’s campaign in front of Helal Market at Uttarkhan, BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka north city Tabith Awal urged the voters to go to polling centres to prevent vote rigging by the ruling party men.
He alleged that the AL was hatching conspiracy to create situation so that the voters could not go to polling stations. ‘You are our strength… Come to the polling center with your courage on February 1 to show your strength.’
Tabith conducted election campaigns in Baunia, Uludohan, Uttarkhan, Moynartek, Atipara, Faidabad, Kotbari, TC Colony and Aftab Market areas on Monday.
AL mayoral candidate Atiqul Islam for Dhaka north city apologised to the residents of Dhaka for creating ‘unexpected’ troubles in their city life in the run-up to the February 1 polls.
Awami League mayoral candidate for Dhaka south city, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, speaking at an election rally at Sarulia of Demra, alleged that the BNP candidates were trying to destabilise and destroy the environment for elections. ‘They are clashing themselves to show that the election environment is unstable,’ he added.
BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka south city Ishraque Hossain, speaking at an election rally at Khilgaon, urged the leaders and activists not to react to any provocation of AL and to go to the polling stations and respond to AL’s activities through peaceful voting.
Israque said Awami League activists attacked Dhaka north city BNP’s candidate Tabith Awal few days ago and they attacked his campaign on Sunday when they were in peaceful electioneering.
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