30 newspersons ‘confined’ for taking photos of AL, BCL clash

Newspersons taking photos of the meeting of AL and BCL leaders and activists in Barishal on 17 May, 2023UNB

At least 30 newspersons were confined after they took photos of a clash that broke out between the leaders and activists of ruling Awami League and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) in Barishal on Wednesday night.

Later, they were freed following interventions of the senior leaders of the party, reports news agency UNB.

The clash broke out between two factions of Awami League and Bangladesh Chhatra League after a meeting of people’s representatives of the sadar upazila with Abul Khair Abdullah Khokon Serniabat, whom Awami League nominated as the party’s mayoral candidate in Barishal City Corporation election.

The incident happened at the residence of Jubo League joint convener Mahmudul Haque Khan Mamun.

Witnesses said followers of Khokon Serniabat, Awami League leader Shahidul Islam and District Chhatra League vice-president Zobayer Abdullah Jinnah got involved in a dispute over the distribution of packets and giving speeches after a meeting on exchanging views of the AL-backed mayoral candidate. Following this there was a scuffle between the two groups.

The 30 newspersons were confined by supporters of Shahidul and Jinnah, when they went there to take photos of the clash. Later, the situation calmed down with the intervention of senior leaders, the witnesses added.

Azim Sharif, cameraperson of Asian Television, said, “BCL men hit our cameras when we went to film the scuffle. We also had a fight over this. At one point, about 30-35 of my colleagues, including I, were locked in a room. Later, senior leaders of Awami League came and freed us.”

These two groups have done such things to embarrass the candidate of ‘boat’ (the electoral symbol of Awami League), said the AL leaders.

Zobayer Abdullah Jinnah, vice-president of the district Chhatra League, said, “The conversation was over trivial issues and nothing else.”

Mahmudul Haque Khan Mamun, joint convener of the city Jubo League, said there was a problem over trivial issues. Later, the matter was settled.