Masked men attack Chattogram BNP leaders' homes, businesses

Masked men vandalise residence of Jubo Dal leader Mohammad Alamgir in Kumira of Sitakunda.Collected

Some masked people carried out attacks on the homes and businesses of four leaders of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Sitakunda of Chattogram in the last 20 days.

The style of the attacks is identical as in all four incidents, masked miscreants exploded crude bombs at the houses of three leaders and at the business of another leader in the dead of night or in the crack of dawn.

Then they spread panic by throwing signal lights generally used by the ships. Later, they carried out vandalism by throwing brick chips. The victim’s family members have been panicking, experiencing such terrifying incidents suddenly.

Victim BNP leaders and their relatives told Prothom Alo that they had seen clashes between the police and ruling party men with the opposition but their houses and businesses were never attacked in the past.

They further said their family members have been feeling insecure due to the attacks of masked miscreants, especially at a time when they cannot stay at homes due to fear of police arrest.

According to the BNP leaders, the latest attack was carried out at the house of Mohammad Alamgir, Kumira union Jubo Dal president and a former union parishad member in Sitakundu of Chattogram, on Saturday night.

Around a week ago, 15-20 masked miscreants launched an attack and vandalised the house of Smasul Alam Azad, former general secretary of Sitakundu pourashava BNP at around 4:00 am on 13 November.

Before that, masked miscreants attacked and vandalised the Sonali CNG Filling Station, owned by BNP’s central joint secretary general Aslam Chowdhury in the small hours on 8 November.

Earlier on 28 October night, an attack was carried out at the house of Kazi Mohammad Salauddin, Chattogram north district BNP joint general secretary.

Kazi Mohammad Salauddin’s elder brother Kazi Mohammad Mohiuddin is the member secretary of Sitakundu upazila BNP.

Despite the four incidents of attacks in 20 days, the BNP leaders and activists did not file any complaint at the police stations. They claimed the attacks are being carried out in police presence.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, victim BNP leader Kazi Mohammad Salauddin said his brother and he do not stay at homes to avoid police harassment for long. Another of their brothers lives in the home with his family. He was not at home that day.

The explosion frightened the women and children, including his elderly mother, in the dead of night. He came to know from the locals that the policemen were patrolling in the area during the attack by the masked men. Hence, he believes the attack was carried out under the police shelter.

In a similar fashion, there was an attack on the residence of Jubo Dal’s Kumira unit president Mohammad Alamgir on Saturday night. His wife Maryam Begum said he does not stay home for at least two months due to fear of arrest.

She along with her toddler baby received a shock when a crude bomb exploded in the dead of night on Saturday. Later, the masked men hurled stones at the residence and broke windows.

However, Tofayel Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Sitakunda police station, rejected the allegation of police presence during the attack. They came to know about the attacks from the locals. He sent a team to look into the incident, though nobody lodged a complaint in this regard.