Case Over AL-BNP Clash: AL man claims bullet wound, DMCH says otherwise

January 28, 2020

dhaka city polls 2020

Case Over AL-BNP Clash: AL man claims bullet wound, DMCH says otherwise

Staff Correspondent

In a case filed over Sunday’s clash between AL and BNP activists in Wari, the complainant claimed an Awami League activist was shot in the head and admitted to DMCH, but hospital documents mention nothing about the bullet wound.

In the case statement, Maksud Ahmed, a local ward level AL leader, also claimed another AL man was admitted to the hospital with a cut in his head after he was struck by a brickbat during the clash.

But according to the documents, the AL activist was never taken to the hospital.

In the case statement, Maksud mentioned that Yeasir Arafat Rocky, 35, suffered bullet wound in the head while Babul Mia was hit by a piece of brick.

The DMCH register book and other hospital documents, however, show that Rocky was admitted there with head injury, not with any bullet wounds.

Babul’s name was not even there in the hospital’s register book.

This correspondent contacted Rocky’s father Habibur Rahman, who said his son was admitted to the hospital after the clash and that he was released yesterday afternoon.

Asked, he could not say how his son, an AL activist, was injured in the clash.

While visiting the hospital yesterday, this correspondent met a leader of a Sramik Dal, a pro-BNP organisation, who had to undergo a surgery earlier in the day to have a bullet removed from his back.

He introduced himself as Mohammad Shanto, an assistant organising secretary of Wari Ward-38 Sramik Dal, and alleged that he was shot by AL men during the clash on Sunday.

The DMCH’s admission documents also show Shanto, 35, was taken to the hospital on Sunday and that he suffered a bullet wound.

On Sunday night, Maksud filed the case with Wari Police Station over the clash between the supporters of BNP mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation Ishraque Hossain and those of an Awami League-backed councillor candidate Rokon Uddin.

The clash took place when the two groups were campaigning in Wari for Saturday’s city corporation polls.

After the incident, Ishraque alleged that police played a biased role and that they could not file a case due to non-operation from the law enforcers.

“We were attacked. Still a case has been filed against our leaders and activists,” he said at a press briefing at the Jatiya Press Club. He also said they would go to the court to file a case.

Asked, Hannaul Islam, assistant commissioner of Wari Zone, said none from the BNP went to the police to file any case.

Police have arrested five of the 50 accused named in the First Information Report. Some 100 to 150 unidentified others were also made accused in the case.

The accused were arrested after the case was filed, Shah Iftekher Ahmed, deputy commissioner (Wari division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police said yesterday.

The arrestees are Sohel, Tuhin, Faruk, Billal and Munna. They were arrested in police raids in different areas, said police.

Sunday’s clash continued for over 30 minutes, leaving 15 people, including two journalists, injured.

Blaming the ruling party men for the incident, Ishraque said the attack was carried out to ruin the polls atmosphere.

However, supporters of the AL-backed councillor candidate alleged that BNP men were chanting provocative slogans against them, which led to the clash.

Ishraque complained that police were conducting raids to arrest BNP men to bar them from campaigning. He said such attempts would not be successful.

The BNP mayoral hopeful made the remarks while briefing the media in front of his house early yesterday and addressing a programme at the Jatiya Press Club later in the day.

He said they wrote to the DSCC returning officer about the lack of cooperation from the police.

‘EC SHOULD CONDUCT A PROBE’

Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader yesterday said the Election Commission should carry out a proper investigation behind Sunday’s clash and find out the truth.

The EC can direct law enforcers, who are now under the jurisdiction of the commission, to take action in this regard, he said.

Quader, also the road transport and bridges minister, was briefing reporters on the contemporary issues at his ministry office.

He said although the BNP, while briefing foreign diplomats on Sunday, blamed the AL for the clash, video footage of the incident showed otherwise.

The footage showed a candidate kicking at the door of his opponent’s office room, the minister said without mentioning the name of the candidate.

Asked about Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar’s comment that there was no level playing field within the EC, Quader said he never heard such “absurd and ridiculous comments”.

The minister said an election commissioner could have a different view on an issue, but he could not “support” the way the commissioner was making public the EC’s internal issues.

The BNP and Mahbub Talukder were reacting in the same way, Quader said, adding that it seemed the election commissioner was taking a stance in favour of a particular party.

Yesterday, BNP standing committee member Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury said there was no security for the BNP candidates.

“Awami League activists are carrying out attacks on our candidates, but no action is being taken against them. Rather, our party men are facing cases,” he told reporters after a meeting with the chief election commissioner at the latter’s office.

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