At least 50 people were injured in a clash between two factions of Awami League in Patuakhali’s Bauphal upazila on Friday afternoon.
Supporters of upazila Awami League’s president and local lawmaker ASM Feroz and upazila chairman Abdul Motaleb Hawlader locked into the clash at an event of Awami League marking Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s birthday and National Children’s Day.
Upazila chariman Motaleb Hawlader, also the general secretary of upazila Awami League, was hacked by sharp weapons in front of the ruling party lawmaker Feroz. Critically injured Motaleb has been sent to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College in Barishal for advanced treatment.
Bauphal upazila health complex’s physician ASM Sayem said Abdul Motaleb’s three fingers of right hand had been severed. He also sustained injuries in his chest, head, leg and elbow of his right arm. He has been sent to Barishal after primary treatment in Patuakhali.
Sources of Awami League said three factions of the ruling party announced programmes at the same time. The supporters of the MP and upazila chairman called their programmes marking the birthday of Bangabandhu and National Children’s Day at the uapzila Awami League office at Janata Bhaban while another faction led by Bauphal pourashava mayor Md Ziaul Haque Jewel called their programme at another office of AL near Press Club road.
To stave off a possible clash, a team of police led by upazila nirbahi officer Al Amin intercepted the procession in front of upazila parishad. Motaleb had an altercation with police at that time. MP Feroz’s supporters were positioned nearby with sticks and sharp weapons at that time. Feroz himself was at the spot on a vehicle.
The supporters of three factions started to gather for their respective programmes from 9 in the morning. Mayor Ziaul’s supporters thronged at Bauphal government ground, MP Feroz’s supporters in front of upazila Awami League office and Abdul Motaleb’s supporters at the Bauphal Government Model School ground.
A procession led by Abdul Motaleb was going towards Awami League office at around 11 in the morning. To stave off a possible clash, a team of police led by upazila nirbahi officer Al Amin intercepted the procession in front of upazila parishad. Motaleb had an altercation with police at that time. MP Feroz’s supporters were positioned nearby with sticks and sharp weapons at that time. Feroz himself was at the spot on a vehicle.
When Motaleb’s supporters tried to head towards the party office defying police obstruction, the law enforcers charged batons and fired blank rounds. MP Feroz’s supporters at that point attacked Motaleb with sharp weapons and left him critically injured. At least 10 including Motaleb’s supporters Rabbi, 30, Md Hasan, 26, Md Hasib, 32, and Khoka Mia, 50, were injured while trying to save Motaleb.
After the attack, Motaleb’s supports hurled brick chips at the police injuring at least 40 including officer in charge Al Mamun, sub inspector MA Hasan, assistant sub inspectors Md Humayun Kabir and Md Shahin, and constables Abu Rahat and Rabiul.
Vehicular movements were stopped as the chase and counter chase went on for over half and hours. Motaleb’s supporters left the scene after he was rushed to Barishal but MP Feroz with his supporters were still present near the main gate of upazila parishad. Police intercepted MP’s men when they went tried to go towards Bauphal government model high school.
Later at around 12 in the noon, mayor Ziaul led a huge procession and paid respect to Bangabandhu’s memorial inside the upazila premises.
A police official on condition of anonymity said section 144 was supposed to be imposed to quell the situation but they did not do so as it was Bangabandhu’s birthday.
OC Al Mamun said police fired 20 rounds of blank shots to bring the situation under control. Five policemen including himself were injured during the clash.
The upazila chairman has been injured at the attack of a faction of his own party, confirmed the OC.