The house of an activist of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was attacked in Chitalmari upazila of Bagerhat.
Later, a local leader of Awami League filed a case against 40 leaders and activists of BNP and its associate bodies and two leaders of Jatiya Party on charges of exploding crude bombs at a rally of Awami League.
Awami League’s Kalatala union parishad Ward No 6 unit president Azizul Haque Khan filed the case with the Chitalmari police station on 11 October under the Explosives Substances Act.
Another 40-50 unidentified people were also made accused in this case.
According to the case statement, the incident took place in Kanonchak Bazar on the night of 10 October. Besides, four unexploded crude bombs, splitters and several bamboo sticks were recovered from the scene.
Plaintiff Azizul Haque told Prothom Alo, “Activists of BNP and Jamaat all of a sudden lunched an attack and exploded crude bombs while leaders and activists of Juba League and Chattra League were having chitchats, and that was pre-planned.”
Witnesses said a group of Awami League leaders-activists beat up several BNP men in Kanonchak Bazar over attending a BNP rally in Khulna. At that time, crude bombs were exploded on the other side of the canal in Kanonchak Bazar.
It was learned after talking to witnesses and locals that more than 100 leaders and activists of Awami League then attacked the houses of the BNP men.
BNP supporter Md Ohid Sheikh, 55, from Kanonchak village, was made the prime accused in the case while Tanvir Sheikh, 28, who is the Swechchhasebak Dal’s Kalatal union convenor, was made the accused No 7.
On 10 October, Awami League and Chattra League men beat up Tanvir Sheikh and his uncle in Kananchak bazar in the evening and then attacked their house.
Tanvir Sheikh said Awami League men had been threatening them over not going to BNP rally. So, they complained to a senior of Chattra Dal leader Mahbub. Anger over the complaint, Awami League men beat them, as well as vandalised his father’s office.
Ohid Sheikh said, “Hearing the news, I went to save my son, and I found everything was vandalised and destroyed. I also heard they filed a case after the attack and vandalism.”
Visiting the area on the 25 October, marks of machetes and axes were seen on doors, windows and corrugated-iron sheet fence at the house of Ohid Sheikh and two others. Everything including beds, showcases, and refrigerators were also vandalised.
Zobeda Begum, wife of Ohid Sheikh, said, “We sensed people entering our house after the evening. So we frighteningly locked the doors. Hundreds of people launched the attack with machetes and sticks. They vandalised everything and took away cash and ornaments.”
Md Khijir Sheikh, 50, who is the treasurer of Jatiya Party’s Chitalmari upazila, was made the accused No 24 in the case.
He said, “I have no idea what happened. Jatiya Party is the partner of Awami League-lead collation. I asked the plaintiff why he filed the case, and he told me he did know the reason either.”
Asked why Jatiya Party leaders were named in the case, plaintiff Azizul Haque said they support BNP locally.
About vandalising BNP men’s houses, he said, “People became angry and did a little, but BNP men themselves vandalised their houses.”
BNP’s Chitalmari upazila convener Tulu Biswas said they were being attacked like the barbaric age, and later ‘fictitious cases’ are filed against them.
Chitalmari police station officer-in-charge AHM Kamruzzaman Khan could not be reached over mobile phone for comment.
According to local leaders of BNP and Jamaat, 10 new cases have been filed against more than 500 leaders and activists of their parties over the past month.