Campaign begins

Supporters of AL, BNP candidates clash in Sirajganj, Netrakona

12 December 2018

Supporters of the Awami League and the BNP candidates have clashed in Sirajganj and Netrakona as the election campaign kicked off. The aspirants across Bangladesh hit the campaign trail on Monday after the returning officers allocated the electoral symbols.
At least 10 people were injured and a BNP office was vandalised in the violence in at least two places in Sirajganj. In Netrakona, an Awami League office was vandalised and at least three people were injured.
Besides these, in Chattogram's Fatikchharhi at least seven people were injured    in clashes between supporters of the Awami League candidate and a rebel candidate of the party.
The clash at Chak Shialkol LGED bend started when supporters of Iqbal Hasan Mahmud Tuku, a vice-chairman of the BNP, took out a procession to celebrate the High Court orders allowing him to contest for Sirajganj-2 in the polls, witnesses said. Two crude bombs were detonated during the clash there. Later police brought the situation under control.
A similar running battle erupted between the Awami League and BNP activists at North Sarotia at the same time.
Meanwhile, the local unit of the Awami League at Dhukuria union council alleged that five of its leaders and activists were beaten up by the BNP activists during a procession of the opposition party.
The BNP units alleged Awami League activists attacked and injured at least eight of the BNP activists, vandalised the home of a BNP leader at Chak Shialkol, and assaulted another at Saidabad.
Sadar Police Station OC Mohammad Daud said they have been put on alert.
The BNP has blamed the Awami League for the ransacking of its office at Kamarkhand.
Besides vandalising the furniture and tearing down the banners and festoons at the office, the attackers allegedly beat up and injured Jamtoil Union BNP chief Abdul Latif Muhuri at a tea stall next to the office.
Kamarkhand Awami League General Secretary Anwar Sheikh said the BNP leaders were levelling false allegations and no-one of his party was involved in the attack.
Kamarkhand Police Station OC Habibul Islam said police were on alert after the attack on the BNP office.
Citing witnesses, Durgapur Police Station OC Mizanur Rahman said some supporters of the Awami League and the BNP got into a fight at Makrail Bazar in the evening.
A clash ensued and at one point, the BNP activists vandalised the Chandigarh Union Awami League office there, the OC said. Three ruling party supporters were injured in the clash, he added.
Supporters of the Awami League-led Grand Alliance candidate Syed Nazibul Bashar Maizvandary of the Tarikat Federation and ruling party leader ATM Peyarul Islam, a rebel candidate, clashed at Nanupur Bazar around 8:30pm.
Nazibul has been assigned the Awami League's 'boat' symbol while Peyarul has been allocated 'apple'.
Witnesses said Peyarul's supporters marched in protest against the nomination of Nazibul by the ruling party.
Violence ensued at Nanupur Bazar which left at least seven people injured, Fatikchharhi Police Station OC Babul Aktar said.   
Peyarul alleged Nazibul's supporters attacked his followers and those of local Awami League leader Kazi Mahmudul Haque. The attackers also fired their guns, he alleged.
"We went to Mahmudul's house after hearing about the attack. We came under attack again at Nanupur Bazar while returning," he added.
Nazibul denied the allegations, saying he had heard that two groups of the ruling party clashed at Nanupur Bazar.

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