Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) – Juktofront on Thursday sent a letter to the Election Commission to extend the deadline for symbol allocation in the upcoming parliamentary election.
Barrister Omar Faruk, organising secretary of Juktofront hands over the letter, signed by the Bikalpa Dhara Bangladesh (BDB) president and Juktofront chairman Dr AQM Badruddoza Chowdhury, to the EC office in the city’s Agargaon area.
BDB Presidium member Abdur Rauf Mannan and Bangladesh NAP secretary general M Golam Mostafa Bhuiyan accompanied him.
In the letter, Juktofront stated that the extension of time for the allocation of electoral symbol is needed and logical as the EC rescheduled the parliamentary election to December 30 from December 23.
It also requested the EC to extend the time period by 10 days, and make November 26 the new deadline for symbol allocation for the sake of a free and fair elections.
Dhaka, Nov 15 (UNB) - Election Commission Secretary Helaluddin Ahmed on Thursday said members of the Army and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) will be deployed in the election areas two to 10 days before the 11th national election scheduled to be held on December 30.
The EC secretary said this while talking to assistant returning officers of Chattogram, Sylhet and Barishal divisions at the EC Secretariat in the morning.
Referring to Wednesday’s violence in city’s Paltan area, the EC secretary said, “An unusual incident was occurred and necessary steps will be taken for preventing recurrence of such incident.”
He also urged the assistant returning officers to keep vigil in the field as no one can stick any posters on walls as well as can hang banners.
“Actions will be taken against those who will fail to perform his/her duty during the election time,” he warned.
Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder who was present at the meeting as the chief guest said the dialogue has made the election environment conducive and hoped it will remain so. “No negligence during the election duty will be tolerated,” he warned.
The commissioner also urged all to work for creating a level-playing field for all candidates.
This election is very important as all the political parties are taking part in it, Talukder said adding, “So, I urge all the officials assigned with election-time duty to enforce the electoral code of conduct in their respective areas.”
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – Terming the attack on police and its leaders and activists at Nayapaltan ‘premeditated’, BNP on Wednesday night alleged that Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) men wearing helmets took part in the mayhem.
“Police without any provocation started obstructing our leaders and activists when they were peacefully gathering there in processions. They also lobbed teargas shells and opened fire on party men, leaving our many activists injured,” said BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir.
He further said, “Police vehicles were torched suddenly. We’ve come to know that some Chhatra League men wearing helmets launched the attack on police cars. We think today’s incident was carried out in a planned way.”
The BNP leader came up with the allegations at a press conference at BNP chairperson’s Gulshan office.
Fakhrul said the main target behind the attack was to foil the election. “This was not only an attack on BNP leaders and activists but also on democracy and a fair election.”
He alleged that the government in connivance with the Election Commission made the attack when the BNP leaders and activists were getting ready to join the election.
The BNP leader said police arrested their 60-70 leaders and activists when they came out of their party’s Nayapaltan central office in the evening.
“We’re not taking the matter lightly. We would like to clearly say these cases must be withdrawn. We urge the police administration to release immediately those arrested. Or else, we won’t hesitate to review our decision on joining the election,” he warned.
Fakhrul turned down Awami League general secretary Obaidul Quader’’s allegation that BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas led the attack on police and said such allegation was brought as part of a plot to repress their party men. “We want to clearly say that the attack is a plot to foil the polls. Police launched the attack while helmet squad torched their vehicles.”
He alleged that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina held a meeting with over 4,500 people at Ganobhaban by abusing her power.
The BNP leader said the Prime Minister also violated the electoral code of conduct by holding such a meeting. “We want to see what step the Election Commission now takes against her.”
Meanwhile, Krishak Sramik Janata League president Kader Siddiqui visited BNP’s Nayapaltan central office around 9pm.
He talked to BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi and heard the clash from him.
Dhaka, Nov 14 (UNB) – Krishak League central committee vice president Farroque Alam Sarker on Wednesday joined BNP ahead of the 11th Parliamentary elections.
Hailing from Gaibandha-5 constituency, Farroque formally joined BNP by presenting a bouquet to party secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir around 7pm at BNP Chairperson’s Gulshan office, said a press release.
BNP’s Rangpur divisional organising secretary Asadu Habib Dulu, Gaibandha district unit BNP president Syed Moinul Hasan Sadik and general secretary Mahmud Nabi Tutul were, among others, present on the occasion.
Dhaka, Nov 4 (UNB) – At least 50 people, including 23 policemen, were injured, in a clash between BNP activists and law enforcers in front of the party’s Nayapaltan central office on the third day of its nomination form sale on Wednesday.
Police lobbed teargas shells, rubber bullets and charged batons while two police cars were torched during the clash and began around 12:50pm and lasted for around 25 minutes.
However, both the government and BNP blamed each other over the clash ahead of the national election billed for December 30.
BNP leaders claimed police attacked their activists without any provocation at the behest of the government while the government said the opposition activists launched the attack on law enforcers as part of their plot to foil the election and topple the government.
As in the past two days, thousands of BNP leaders and activists gathered in front of their office in the morning while many others started joining them in small processions until the clash began as the party continued the sale of its nomination forms for the third consecutive day among those who want to contest the 11th parliamentary elections with its tickets.
Witnesses said everything was on the right track while police members were trying to keep vehicle movement normal on the road in front of the BNP office removing herds of party workers on it.
Amid the growing crowd, BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas along with his several hundred supporters marched towards their party office around 12:40pm and started staging a showdown there, bringing traffic on the road to grinding halt.
Police tried to remove the BNP men from a portion of the road so that vehicles can pass through, but failed to do so.
At one stage, they locked into an altercation with the BNP leaders and activists and started charging batons to maintain the law and order.
BNP leaders and activists also started hurling brickbats towards the law enforcers, triggering a fierce clash between the two sides.
They also engaged in chase-and-counter-chase forcing the law enforcers to lob teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the BNP activists.
In response, BNP leaders and activists chased the law enforcers with sticks and brickbats and set fire to two police cars.
At one stage, the law enforcers moved away from Nayapaltan area and took position in front of Bijoynagar Nightingale crossing while BNP leaders and activists in front of their office.
Party senior leaders, including party senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi, came out on the streets asking their activists to exercise restraint and not to respond to any act of provocation.
Rizvi told the party activists that their party acting chairman Tarique Rahman asked them from London to remain calm.
“Police without any provocation opened fire on our brethren. They also lobbed teargas shells and charged baton on them. They attacked the peaceful gathering of our leaders and activists and created chaos,” he said.
The BNP leader further said, “I think the attack was made at the dictate of the government and its head. We strongly condemn and protest such attack.”
Rizvi claimed that a good number of their leaders and activists, including Dhaka University unit JCD leader Abbas, Dhaka South city unit Jubo Dal leader Mehedi, Motijheel Jubo Dal leader Moqbul, Khilgaon Swechchhasebak Dal leader Moktar Hossain, Mugda Swechchhasebak Dal leader Sumon, Kalabagan Swechchhasebak Dal leader Sumon, Mugda BNP leader Arif, Shahjahanpur Chhatra Dal leaders Mohiuddin, Hasan and Tutul, Shahbagh BNP leader Kamal, Paltan BNP leader Abdul Kader, Sabujbagh BNP leaders Munir, Saiful and Mehedi, Ramna BNP leaders Giasuddin, Ratan, Asaduzzaman, Shamshul Haque and Abdur Razzak, and Khilgaon BNP leader Moniruzzaman, were injured in the attack.
Members of Doctors Association of Bangladesh (DAB) provided medical treatment to wounded BNP leaders and activists inside the party office.
Party assistant office secretary Taiful Islam Tipu said the sale of their party’s nomination forms remained halted for two hours due to the clash. He also said over their 30 leaders and activists were injured in the clash.
Home Minister Asaduazzaman Khan claimed that the 23 policemen, including five officers, were injured in the attack by BNP men and they all were admitted to Rajarbagh Central Police Hospital.
Visiting the injured police members at the hospital, he also said BNP in a planned way carried out the attack to foil the election. “The way they beat police it clearly indicated that they had a bad inattention behind the attack on police.”
BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir blamed police for the clash and said it will only hamper the election atmosphere.
Meanwhile, Awami League alleged that BNP activists, led by party senior leader Mirza Abbas, attacked police ‘without any provocation’ in front of its Nayapaltan central office as part of the party’s ‘plot’ to foil the election and topple the government.
Speaking at a press conference at Awami League President’s Dhanmondi office, party general secretary Obaidul Quader also said the attack on police by BNP has demonstrated that the party does not want to join the election.
Additional Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Monirul Islam said the attack was carried out on police without any provocation to create an issue.
Two groups of nomination seekers gathered in front of the BNP office with huge supporters and blocked the road around 1:15am, he said.
“Seven-eight policemen along with an armoured personnel carrier (APC) were performing duty there. Police obstructed the BNP men as they blocked the road. Obstructed, they torched a police vehicle and attacked the policemen,” said Monirul.
He said police showed their highest level of patience during the incident.
On Monday morning, the party formally started the sale of nomination papers with collecting three forms for its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia. BNP sold 1,326 nomination papers on the first day while 1,896 on the second day.
The sale of nomination papers are supposed to continue until November 16.