A Bangladesh Nationalist Party candidate was stabbed in Pabna during his election campaign while another BNP candidate in Jhenaidah was arrested in Dhaka amid continued electoral violence and intimidation on Wednesday, just three days ahead of December 30 general polls.
Main opposition BNP alleged that their election campaigns also came under attacks by ruling Awami League leaders and activists at places in different districts including Chattogram, Khagrachari and Thakurgaon.
Election commissioner Mahbub Talukder, expressing concern over increasing electoral violence, on Wednesday urged the law enforcement agencies to keep up dignity of their uniforms and not to show partisan attitude while carrying out their duties in the general election.
Around 40 opposition candidates including BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir and standing committee members Moudud Ahmed and Mirza Abbas along with his wife Afroza Abbas were attacked while standing committee member Gayeshwar Roy, joint secretary general Mahbub Uddin Khokon and the party candidate for Shariatpur 3 Miah Nuruddin Apu were critically injured so far in attacks since the electioneering began on December 10.
With the latest arrest of Jamaat leader and BNP candidate for Jhenidah 3 Motiur Rahman, a total of 17 opposition candidates have so far been arrested.
BNP joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi in a press briefing at the party central office in Dhaka said that the police arrested 8,243 BNP leaders and activists since announcement of election schedule on November 8.
Besides, he said, a total of 773 fictitious cases were lodged against the party leaders and activists while four were killed and 12,353 others injured in 2,693 attacks.
In Cox s Bazar, New Age correspondent reported that locals chased police in Bharuakhali in the district headquarters on Wednesday when police were attacking campaigners joining a roadside rally of JOF candidate Lutfar Rahman Kajol.
Being resisted the police stopped beating the campaigners but in the middle of the night with other forces carried out operation and damaged houses of Bharuakhali union parishad chairman Shafikur Rahman and others.
Witnesses said people of the area now took shelter in nearby embankment for protection.
Police in Habiganj entered the house of Oikya Front candidate Reza Kibria breaking back door and damaged property about 3:33pm when the candidate was on his electioneering.
As the police continued damaging properties, locals cordoned police.
My villagers cannot sit idle. On information, my neighbours gathered near my house, forcing the police to leave the house immediately, Reza told New Age.
About 5:45pm, he was electioneering at Kazirbazar in Nabiganj upazila.
As it was dark and I was leading the motorcade, several dozen of police in seven vehicles cordoned off my campaigners and arrested 32 from the place.
He said seven of 32 persons were accused in different fabricated cases while the rest others were not even named in any cases.
Their only offence was they are supporting me, said Reza, son of the late Awami League leader Shah MS Kibria.
Habiganj returning officer and deputy commissioner Mahmudul Kabir Murad said the police went there to arrest an accused.
New Age correspondent in Pabna reported that BNP candidate for Pabna 4 Habibur Rahman Habib was stabbed and four of his activists were injured when AL activists allegedly attacked Habib s campaign at Alhaj Mor of Ishwardi municipality around noon on Wednesday.
Pabna district BNP office secretary Zahurul Islam alleged that a group of 15 or 20 AL men armed with sharp weapons attacked them at Alhaj Mor on their way to Alhaj School premises about 12:00pm.
The attackers began to beat and stab the candidate and beat others when they tried to resist the attackers, he alleged, adding that the attackers also vandalised the car of Habib.
Ishwardi Upazila health officer Asma Khatun said Habib was stabbed in four places of his body and later he was shifted to Pabna Medical College and Hospital from where he was flown off to Dhaka for better treatment.
Ishwardi upazila AL general secretary Mokhlesur Rahman Mintu denied involvement of his party men in the attack.
Ishwardi police station officer-in-charge Bahauddin Faruki said they arrested eight people in this connection.
New Age Correspondent in Thakurgaon reported that Rahat Ara Begum, wife of BNP secretary general and party candidate for Thakurgaon 1 Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon alleged that they were barred from electioneering for her husband allegedly by ruling Awami League activists at Bashirpur in the morning.
She alleged that a group of eight to 10 people, wielding sharp weapons, intercepted them when she accompanied by her daughter and activists went to Bashirpara for campaign.
They asked them to leave the spot by threatening to attack, she alleged.
New Age Correspondent in Jhenaidah, quoting Jhenaidah superintendent of police Md Hasanuzzaman, reported that police arrested Jamaat leader and BNP candidate for Jhenidah 3 Motiur Rahman and his wife Nazma Rahman at their daughter s residence at Rayerbazar in the capital early Wednesday today on charge of sabotage.
The SP said that Motiur was named in 27 cases and they seized two laptops and seven mobile phones used for committing sabotage from Motiur s possession.
New Age Correspondent in Khagrachari reported that at least 20 leaders and activists of both AL and BNP were injured in a clash when AL activists intercepted an election campaign for BNP candidate for Khagrachhari Shahidul Islam Bhuiyan in bus terminal area of Ramgarah in the district about 12:30pm.
District BNP president Wadud Bhuiyan blamed AL for the attack while district AL vice-president Rana Bikram Tripura alleged that the clash was an outcome of factional feud of local BNP.
New Age staff correspondent in Chattogram, quoting police, reported that police seized a gun, petrol bombs and materials to prepare bombs from a parked car, used for electioneering of BNP candidate for Chattogram 4 Ishak Quader Chowdhury, and arrested his driver Mehedi Hasan, 24, at Bhatiary of Sitakund in Chattogram Wednesday afternoon.
The BNP candidate denied the allegation and alleged that it was nothing but a plot of police and AL.
Besides, the election campaign of BNP candidate for Chattogram 5 and Kalyan Party chairman Syed Muhammad Ibrahim was attacked at Hathazari of the city Wednesday morning while four BNP activists were injured and nine cars vandalised.
Ibrahim remained unhurt as he took shelter in a nearby home where the attackers stormed into the house and beat its inmates.
In Sylhet, police arrested 31 leaders and activists of Jamaat and BNP from different places of the city on Wednesday, said Sylhet Metropolitan Police additional deputy commissioner Zidal Al-Musa.
New Age Correspondent in Bogura reported that law enforcers seized a crude bomb and sharp weapons from an election office of BNP candidate for Bogura 5 Golam Mohammad Siraj at Mathurapur Bazaar under Dhunat and arrested five Jamaat and BNP activists Tuesday night.
Besides, the opposition activists at places of the district were facing harassment and attacks by ruling party men.
While conducting election campaign for Socialist Party of Bangladesh candidates in Dhaka, its central leader Bazlur Rashid Firoz alleged that the common people were still anxious about the election as there was no level playing field.
The chief election commissioner s claim of peaceful election is totally absent on the ground.
SPB, in a statement, alleged that the AL men obstructed campaigns for its candidate for Dhaka 17 Ahsan Habib Bulbul at Baonia in the city.
New Age Correspondent in Tangail reported that local administration imposed Section 144 between 12:00om and 8:00pm in Basail Bus stand, Bazar and its adjacent areas under Basail upazila on Wednesday to avert any untoward situation as activists of both AL and Jatiya Oikya Front candidates for Tangail 8 called rally at the same place at the same time on Wednesday, said assistant returning officer Shamsun Nahar Swapna.
New Age correspondent in Satkhira reported that Jatiya Party candidate for Satkhira 1 Syed Didar Bokht in a press conference at Satkhira Press Club Wednesday night alleged that his campaign motorcade was attacked by AL men at Nagarghata leaving 10 of his activists injured and two cars vandalised.
Besides, Bikalpa Dhara candidate for Satkhira 4 HM Golam Reza alleged that his roadside rally was attacked by AL men at Patakhali under Shyamnagar in the evening, leaving his three activists injured and three cars, including the one carrying him, vandalised.
New Age correspondent in Jashore, quoting police, reported that Kotwali police arrested Syed Saberul Haque Sabu, general secretary, Jashore district unit BNP and joint secretary Mizanur Rahman Khan on Wednesday noon.
New Age Correspondents in Khulna, Rajshahi and Bagerhat reported that the opposition candidates had been conducting their electioneering amid obstacles and harassment.
Our Correspondent in Manikganj reported that Revolutionary Workers Party of Bangladesh candidate Rafiqul Islam Ovi in a letter to returning officer alleged that AL men vandalised his temporary election camp near his house at Uttar Kaunnara under Saturia upazila Tuesday night.
New Age correspondent in Barishal reported that BNP candidate for Barishal 5 Mojibor Rahman Sarwar on Wednesday alleged that a state of fear among BNP activists in fields in Barishal did not change even after army deployment.
He alleged that police and AL men created a reign of terror in his constituency.