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Two people were killed in Khagrachari as electoral violence and attacks on opposition candidates accelerated on Monday, five days before the December 30 general election despite deployment of military troops across the country.


At least 10 opposition candidates, including former law minister and BNP standing committee member Moudud Ahmed, Shahid Uddin Chowdhury Annie, Mahabub Uddin Khokon and Zainul Abdin Farroque and Mia Nuruddin Ahmed, came under attack during electioneering in their constituencies that left at least 150 injured.
Chief election commissioner KM Nurul Huda, while visiting a mock polling using electronic voting machine at Residential Model School and College in Dhaka, said that the confidence of the voters would increase as armed forces were deployed for the 11th parliamentary elections.
Opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front chief Kamal Hossain said that the attacks on opposition candidates, leaders and activists even after deployment of army were unexpected.
He expected that the army would uphold their tradition of neutrality to protect peoples rights to vote and the constitution.
An AL delegation led by M Akhtaruzzaman submitted a complaint to the Election Commission and urged the commission to arrest activists of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jamaat-e-Islami involved in attacks on AL activists to ensure a peaceful environment for the elections.
In Khagrachari, two people were killed as unidentified attackers opened fire on an election camp of United Peoples Democratic Front-backed independent candidate Natun Kumar Chakma at Pujgang Nicher Bazaar under Panchari upazila at about noon.
The deceased were tea stall owner Uzwal Chakma Chikko, 32, of the bazaar and construction worker Md Rana, 30, of Hathazari in Chittagong.
The Chittagong Hill tracts-based political party s publicity secretary Niron Chakma told New Age that the attackers advanced towards the election camp of their candidate Natun at the bazaar at about noon opening gunshots indiscriminately leaving the two killed. The attackers set fire to the election camp.
He alleged that armed activists of the Parbatya Chattogram Janasanghati Samity faction, known as followers of MN Larma, launched the attack.
He alleged that the JSS faction was threatening local people of dire consequences if they voted for the UPDF-backed candidate instead of the ruling Awami League candidate.
Panchari police station officer-in-charge Nurul Alam said that the two were killed in exchange of fire between two Hill Tracts-based political parties — two UPDF factions.
New Age correspondent in Shariatpur reported that at least 50 opposition activists, including BNP candidate for Shariatpur 3 Mia Nuruddin Ahmed, sustained injuries in an attack on his electioneering at Patti of Shariatpur Monday morning.
Witnesses said that Nuruddin s campaign came under attack at Patti allegedly by AL activists in presence of police at about 11:30am while he was leading a procession towards Shariatpur sadar from Kudalpur of Gosairhat.
District Mahila Dal convener Asmaul Hosna said that Nuruddin was flown to Dhaka for treatment.
Gosairhat upazila AL president Shahjahan Shikder denied their involvement in the attack.
New Age correspondent in Lakshmipur reported that at least 30 BNP leaders and activists, including its candidate for Lakshmipur 3 Shahid Uddin Chowdhiry Annie, three journalists, five AL activists and two cops were injured in an attack on opposition electioneering at Shantihat bazar under Sadar upazila Monday morning.
Witnesses and police officials said that AL activists led by local union AL president Nurul Amin attacked the campaign at Shantirhat bazaar and the BNP activists also chased the attackers and later clashed with them.
Daserhat police investigation centre in-charge Md Matin said that they rushed the spot and brought the situation under control opening fire in the air.
He said that two cops were also injured in the clash.
Nurul Amin, however, claimed that BNP activists attacked AL activists leaving five of them injured.
New Age correspondent in Noakhali reported that BNP candidate for Noakhali 5 Moudud Ahmed s campaign was attacked by Bangladesh Chhatra League activist at Natun Bazar under Companiganj at about 11:00am on Monday, leaving five BNP activists injured and two cars vandalised.
Moudud alleged that he was worried about his safety and suspended his campaign for the day.
BNP candidate for Noakhali 1 Mahabub Uddin Khokon alleged that his campaign came under attack at Sahapur bazar under Chatkhil at about 1:00pm, leaving five BNP activists injured and two cars vandalised.
An election campaign of BNP candidate for Noakhali 2 Zainul Abdin Farroque was attacked at Uttar Sahapur under Senbagh upazila when both the BNP activists and the attackers threw brick bats at each other at about noon.
Later at a press conference, Farroque blamed AL activists for the attack and alleged that the police arrested a number of his campaigners at the spot and said that he would quit the election race if he was not given security.
He said that at least 10 of his activists were injured in the incident.
Police officials concerned said that they were yet to identify the attackers.
Opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front top leader Kamal Hossain at a press conference at the front office at Purana Paltan in Dhaka said that the attacks on opposition candidates, leaders and activists even after deployment of army were unexpected.
He expected that the army would uphold their tradition of neutrality to protect peoples rights to vote and the constitution.
A 10-member AL delegation led by M Akhtaruzzaman, after submitting a complaint with Election Commission secretary Helaluddin Ahmed at the commission headquarters on Monday, told reporters that they urged the commission to arrest activists of BNP and Jamaat involved in attacks on AL activists to ensure a peaceful environment for the elections.
Bangladesher Samajtantrik Dal general secretary Khalequzzaman in a statement on Monday, referring to Sunday night s attacks on election campaigns of its candidate for Jhenaidah 2 Assadul Islam and Chandpur 4 Anisuzzaman Bhuiyan Rana by AL activists, alleged that though the commission was talking about level playing field, the reality was that none but the ruling AL was allowed to conduct electioneering.
A car carrying BNP candidate for Munshiganj 2 Mizanur Rahman Sinha and his family was attacked allegedly by AL activists at Baherpara under Tongibari in Munshiganj on Monday at about 1:00am, injuring the candidate, his wife, two children and his security personnel.
Munshiganj additional superintendent of police Md Asaduzzaman said that they were informed about the incidents and would take action after investigation.
New Age correspondent in Bogura reported that at least 10 activists of Awami League and BNP were injured as the groups chased each other when election campaign of BNP candidate for Bogura 5 Golam Mohammad Siraj was attacked at Gosaibari Bottola under Sherpur.
Sherpur police officer-in-charge Humayun Kabir said that they arrested three BNP activists at the spot.
New Age correspondent in Barishal reported that a procession of BNP candidate for Barishal 1 Zahir Uddin Swapan was attacked at his village Sharikal under Gaurnadi leaving eight BNP activists injured.
In Gazipur, the election campaign of detained BNP candidate for Gazipur 5 AKM Fazlul Huq Milon was attacked in Bank crossing of Kaliganj upazila town Monday afternoon, leaving at least seven BNP activists, including the candidate s wife Shampa Huq, injured and three cars vandalised.
Kaliganj police officer-in-charge Abu Bakar said that he was not informed about any such incident.
In Kishoreganj, police attacked and fired at a campaign of BNP candidate for Kishoreganj 6 Md Shariful Alam at Kuliarchar on at about 3:30pm, leaving at least 25 injured, including four bullet-hit, witnesses said.
Shariful said that he was among the injured and six of his activists were picked up from the spot.
Kuliarchar police station officer-in-charge Md Nannu Molla claimed that the BNP activists armed with sticks and sharp weapons brought out a procession to commit sabotages and the police opened fire to bring the situation under control.
He claimed that none of BNP activists were injured but six cops were injured in their attack.
In Narail, BNP candidate for Narail 2 AZM Fariduzzaman at a press conference at his house at Lohagara, alleged that at least 10 BNP activists were injured as he and his campaigners were attacked at Erenda under the upazila by AL activists while five motorcycles were also vandalised.

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