13 December 2018, Thu, 5:08

Over 266 injured in election campaign violence across country

Clashes broke out in several districts on Wednesday, injuring more than 266 people on just the third day of electioneering ahead of the December 30 general polls.

Sirajganj, Bagerhat, Comilla, Natore, Bogra, and Gazipur are among the districts where clashes took place.

In Sirajganj, supporters of Awami League and BNP faced off at Binodpur Bazar in Tarash upazila in the afternoon, leaving 10 people injured and several vehicles damaged.

BNP leaders alleged that ruling party activists attacked them and vandalized two microbuses, despite the presence of police.

BNP candidate from Sirajganj 3 constituency Abdul Mannan Talukder said he had gone to Binodpur Bazar to attend an election campaign rally. 

“When we reached the venue, ruling party activists attacked us and vandalized vehicles, foiling the scheduled program. Although police were present, they did not take action,” he claimed, adding that a local BNP activist rescued him and took him to safety.

Tarash upazila Awami League president and upazila chairman Abdul Haque said they had not been informed of any incident of electoral violence. 

Tarash police OC Mostafizur Rahman said Awami League was supposed to hold a program at Binodpur Bazar, but a clash ensued when BNP activists arrived and tried to hold their own program there by force.

In Bagerhat, three BNP activists were injured when miscreants attacked an election campaign in the Kandupotti area of Morrelganj upazila around 10am.

BNP nominated Jamaat candidate from Bagerhat 4 constituency Abdul Aleem blamed the supporters of his rival candidate over the attack.

In Comilla, a group of Awami League and Chhatra League men reportedly attacked BNP Comilla Sadar Dakhhin upazila unit General Secretary Mahbub Chowdhury and his wife in the afternoon.

During a press briefing, Mahbub said the attackers tried to kidnap him. They also snatched his mobile phone and Tk80, 000. 

BNP candidate from Comilla 6 constituency Amin Ur Rashid claimed that Awami League men have been continuously attacking BNP activists in the constituency.

In Natore, more than 50 BNP activists were injured when supporters of Awami League attacked an election campaign at Singra upazila.

BNP candidate Daudar Mahmud protested the attack, and said they had informed the returning officer about the incident but action was yet to be taken.

Singra upazila Assistant Returning Officer Shusahnto Kumar said police and the executive magistrate were working bring the situation under control.

In Bogra, miscreants attacked an Awami League election campaign in Sariakandi in the afternoon, leaving one injured. 

The miscreants also vandalized the microphone used in the campaign, sources said.

In Gazipur, the house of Kaliganj upazila unit BNP Joint Secretary Momotaz Begum came under attack in the afternoon. At least three people were injured in the incident.

In addition, more than 200 supporters of Awami League and BNP were injured in election campaign violence in Kaliakoir, according to Kaliakoir police station OC Sanowar Jahan.