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POST TIME: 27 January, 2020 10:26:57 AM
Ishraque rally comes under attack
STAFF REPORTER, Dhaka

Ishraque rally comes under attack

BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation Ishraque Hossain (centre) reacts as his electioneering comes under miscreants’ attack at Gopibagh in the capital yesterday. Focus Bangla Photo

BNP-nominated mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Ishraque Hossain and his supporters yesterday came under attack in Gopibagh area during campaigning. At least 10 people, including Ishraque, were injured during the attack, said the polls campaign chief Khurshid Alam. “Some men attacked the campaign from both sides in front of Central Women’s College in the Tikatuli area around 11:30 am” he added.

According to witnesses, a group of miscreants attacked Ishraque and his supporters. Some BNP leaders and activists, as well as some journalists, were injured. Sounds of firing were also heard.

The two sides traded blows for about 40 minutes during which several vehicles were damaged.

The police later brought the situation under control. They said they had no prior information about Ishraque’s campaign at that time.

The BNP mayoral candidate was scheduled to start campaigning from 5pm, but he had started early and did not even inform the matter to the police, police sources said.

Local BNP activists alleged that Awami League (AL) activists had attacked Ishraque’s procession near the women’s College.

Witnesses said supporters of AL-endorsed councillor candidate Rokon Uddin Ahmed and reserved women councilor candidate Lovely Chowdhury had taken position on the road just as Ishraque’s procession was about to arrive. Tensions simmered as the two sides chanted slogans before the violent altercation erupted as they started to hurl brickbats and chairs at each other.

AL activists alleged that provocative speech was being chanted by Ishraque and his supporters.

However, the BNP activists denied the allegations, claiming that AL-sponsored goons had swooped in on their peaceful procession.

Addressing the attack on his campaign, Ishraque said: “The attack was part of a ploy to sabotage the elections. We were coming back from a rally from Hatkhola via Tikatuli. We were two minutes away from my home when it happened.”

“I told my activists to keep calm and peaceful,” he added.

On the other hand, AL councilor Rokon Uddin Ahmed said supporters of the BNP candidate had broken the gate of their election camp  and attacked them. “Ishraque’s men fired eight bullets. Our men were injured in the attack. We didn’t attack anybody,” he claimed.

Six Al activists injured in the attack have been admitted into Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH).

Talking to the media, Wari police station inspector (operations) Sudip Kumar Saha said that Ishraque was scheduled to campaign at 5pm. “Butthey started their election campaign at 11am without informing the matter to the police. That’s why the law enforcers were not prepared to tackle the situation immediately,” he explained.

“The incident erupted while Ishraque Hossain campaigned at a women’s college in the Tikatuli area, where the AL-backed councillor’s camp is also located. Both parties took part in the clash and some of them have been injured,” he added.

BK