The Bangladesh Nationalist Party leaders on Thursday complained that the law enforcement agencies were raiding the houses of their leaders and activists and arresting or harassing them ahead of city elections to be held on February 1.
The opposition leaders placed their complaint to the Election Commission seeking proper initiative while Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Shafiqul Islam claimed no such instruction was given to raid the house of opposition members.
BNP leaders, however, said that the police raided the house of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal’s Dhaka West Unit president Kamruzzaman Jewel in the afternoon and could not arrest him due to his absence.
Zainul Abedin Mesbah, a lawyer who provides legal service to BNP leaders, said that the police and plainclothesmen raided at least twenty houses of his clients who were leaders of BNP and its front organisations.
‘The raid was started on Wednesday night,’ he said adding, ‘all of them are related to the electioneering in the city polls.’
Emerging from the meeting at Election Commission on Thursday afternoon, the BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury told the media that police were harassing and arresting BNP activists across the capital.
Responding to the allegation, the chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda said that there was no such incident of raids on houses in Dhaka.
He said that law enforcement agencies would take action in its way if any people were found doing criminal activities.
DMP commissioner Shafiqul Islam also said that they had taken measure so that the voters could cast their votes and return home safely.
Replying to a question, he also said, ‘I do not cast forged vote. We provide security to the people so that they can cast their vote.’
The DMP chief also denied the allegations.
He, however, said those who came out of the Dhaka were under examination and intelligence agencies were working on it.
The DMP officials, meanwhile, said they have arrested a former JCD leader Ariful Islam over the clash between Awami League and BNP in the capital’s Gopibagh on Sunday during electioneering.
The DMP’s additional commissioner Abdul Maten in the press conference said they were looking for armed assailants and troublemakers to the polls.
The DMP said Ariful, 47, was a personal assistant of the BNP’s mayoral candidate Ishraque Hossain for the Dhaka south city but the candidate denied that Ariful was his personal assistant.
The police seized a pistol and 50 cartridges from Arif.
Ruling Awami League activists allegedly attacked the campaigners for Dhaka north city mayoral candidate Tabith Awal of Bangladesh Nationalist Party at Tejgaon in the capital Thursday afternoon.
At least six of the opposition party leaders and activists were injured in the attack on the last day of the electioneering, Tabith’s supporters alleged.
Among the injured are the party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and Swechchhasebak Dal leaders Shafiul Bari Babu, Abdul Quadir Bhuiyan Jewel, Golam Sarwar, Saiful Islam Firoz and Morshed Alam.
Rizvi was undergoing treatment at Islami Bank Hospital at Kakrail as of Thursday evening and the other injured ones were given first aid, according to the hospital officials.
Injured campaigners for Tabith Morshed Alam alleged, ‘Over a hundred Awami league leaders and activists armed with sticks and iron rods swooped on us at Tejgaon Truck Stand areas at about 4:30pm and injured at least six of our leaders.’
‘We were campaigning for Tabith at that time,’ he said.
Tejgaon Industrial police duty officer Md Ashraf denied the allegations and claimed that no such incident had happened at the truck stand.
‘Actually, two processions – one of BNP and the other of AL – became face to face at the truck stand area and a tension created but police managed to divert them to separate directions,’ he said.
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