In the 53-second video that went viral on social media, MP HM Ibrahim was seen saying, “I am ordering that you beat the criminals to death and nothing will happen to you. If you can, just do it. I will take the entire responsibility. This is my word to you.”

He further said, “If the police cannot kill those who are criminals and are torturing the locals, you do it. I promise nothing will happen to you. I will be the accused if anyone files any case over that incident. Take my word.”

Speaking to Prothom Alo, several local residents in Deoti area of Sonaimuri upazila said that criminal activities and drug peddling are nothing new in the area. Drug addicts hangout in every corner in the area now. The local residents are kept hostage by them. The MP made these remarks while talking in this regard.

Seeking anonymity, a local public representative told Prothom Alo that the local Awami League is divided into two factions. One is led by MP HM Ibrahim and Jahangir Alam, prime minister’s personal assistant and member of district Awami League, leads the other faction. Such a speech in a rally may have an impact on the internal politics.

At the same time, it may deteriorate the law and order in the locality, he added.

However, Prothom Alo couldn’t reach MP HM Ibrahim despite trying to contact him over the phone for his comments regarding this on Saturday.

According to the eye witnesses, Harunur Rashid, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sonaimuri police station, was also present at the spot while the MP was instructing the people present at the meeting to beat the criminals to death.

Speaking to Prothom Alo on Saturday morning, OC Harunur Rashid said, “I went there during the closing session. I was not there when the MP was addressing the meeting. I have not seen the video either.”

Noakhali’s superintendent of police (SP) told Prothom Alo, ''We have to know the background of such a speech. I cannot comment on this issue without watching the full video.”