Death threats keep Swapon away from constituency
Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) aspirant Zahir Uddin Swapon in Barisal-1 (Gournadi-Agailjhara) constituency is restrained from going to the polling area for electioneering in fear of death threats by a local Awami League leader alleged the BNP leader who also was former MP of the constituency.
Zahir Uddin alleged that the secretary general of Gournadi upazila AL, also the municipality mayor , Md Harisur Rahman publicly threatens the to kill him.
Concerned about his safety, the BNP leader urged the election commission to take initiatives to stop this terrorising by of Harisur and his gang.
“Harisur is issuing death threats in the open. Haris is provoking his party leaders and activists to kill me and my party workers if we try to enter the constituency to campaign,” Zahir Uddin Swapon told Prothom Alo on Thursday.
Denying the allegations, Harisur said Swapon received death threats from the opposite faction of BNP due to the party’s internal conflict.
However, a video recording of a rally shows Haris saying during a speech, “If Swapon tries to come to the area, our leaders and workers must forcibly chase him away.”
Asked about it, municipality mayor Harisur told Prothom Alo, “AL has only one contestant in the constituency. He is Abul Hasnat Abdullah. BNP has several aspirants. Swapon using my name to come to the limelight.”
Similar complaints by others
At the very least 10 local BNP leaders have complained that more than hundred BNP leaders and activists have been injured since the announcement of the election schedule.
Five AL leaders in Gournadi upazila filed cases against 406 BNP leaders and activists while another two AL leaders in Agailjhara have filed cases against 87 BNP workers, according to Gournadi and Agailjhara police station.
BNP’s central executive committee member Abdus Sobhan complained that AL leaders and activists have been holding processions and rallies and attacking the opposition workers by violating the electoral code of conduct after the announcement of the schedule.
“ Nobody can stay in the area. I am receiving constant threats to keep me away from electioneering,” Sobhan added.
With similar complaints, BNP’s central committee assistant organising secretary Akon Kuddusur Rahman, said the election commission is playing a mysterious role in this matter.
However, Gournadi upazila Chhatra League president Jobayerul Islam denied allegations of attacking BNP leaders and workers. He said, BNP and their alliances carry out violence and anarchy.
“They were expelled from the area because of their activities and now they are blaming us,” he added.