AL men once again attacked the house of BNP’s late standing committee member Tariqul Islam in Jashore on Sunday. The car of Tariqul’s son and acting organising secretary of Khulna division BNP also came under attack. The attackers vendalised Jashore BNP’s office.

Section 144 was imposed in three upazilas as AL announced programme at the same places as BNP. BNP had to cancel their programmes due to section 144. Police allegedly obstructed the BNP rallies in Bhola, Rajbari’s Goalanda and Brahmanbaria’s Sarail.

I saw Jashore sadar upazila vice chairman and former Chhatra League leader Anwar Hossain and pourashava councilor Jahidur Rahman during the attack. They led the attack. Later, my house was also attacked in broad daylight. Police were called during the attack but they came after the attackers had left
Anindya Islam, BNP leader and son of late BNP leader Tariqul Islam

BNP announced organising rallies in district, upazila and union level outside Dhaka from 22 August protesting price hike of fuel and other commodities. AL men swooped on the BNP activists in several districts for last seven days as of Monday.

The ruling party men allegedly attacked at 19 BNP rallies in different districts in the seven days. Houses of the BNP leaders came under attack in eight places and the BNP offices in four places. Section 144 was imposed in eight upazilas and police obstructed BNP rallies in six places.

Attack on Tariqul’s house, office ransacked

AL men once again attacked late BNP leader Tariqul Islam’s house in Ghop area of Jashore. Also, car of Tariqul’s son and BNP leader Anindya Islam and the party’s district office came under attack. Tariqul’s wife Nargis Begum is the convener of Jashore district BNP.

BNP secretary general Mirza Fakhrul Islam sought arrest and punishment of the attackers in a statement released on Sunday night.

He said AL has taken a strategy to wipe out the opposition parties, including the BNP, and they have launched reckless attacks to that end. Attack on Anindya is a continuation of that machination.

Anindya Islam, along with his party men, were trying to create a chaotic situation first in Doratana intersection area and later at his house and at his party office in Laldighirpar. We thwarted his effort
Anwar Hossain

Anindya Islam told Prothom Alo, “Some 25 to 30 Awami League and Jubo League men attacked my car in presence of police at Doratana intersection. I saw Jashore sadar upazila vice chairman and former Chhatra League leader Anwar Hossain and pourashava councilor Jahidur Rahman during the attack. They led the attack. Later, my house was also attacked in broad daylight. Police were called during the attack but they came after the attackers had left.”

Asked about the allegation, Anwar Hossain said, “Anindya Islam, along with his party men, were trying to create a chaotic situation first in Doratana intersection area and later at his house and at his party office in Laldighirpar. We thwarted his effort.”

Earlier from Friday midnight to Saturday morning, houses of four BNP leaders including that of Tariqul came under attack. BNP men clashed with the AL men at Rupdia Bazar in Sadar upazila during a rally on Saturday.

BNP and local sources said a total of 28 BNP leaders and activists arrested in a case filed over the clash and were sent to the court on Sunday. Anindya’s car was attacked when he was returning from the court.

BNP cancelled its rally in Pekua but the AL men brought out several rallies in different parts defying section 144. Both parties cancelled their programmes in Kaptai and Pirganj

Tajul Islam, officer-in-charge of Jashore Kotwali police station said, “We reached the area after being informed of attack on Anindya Islam’s car. We found some brickbat strewn there. Some BNP men were there with bamboo sticks. We would take action if we receive any complaint.”

Asked about the allegation that the attack was carried out in presence of police, Tajul Islam said, “I don’t know whether police was there at that moment.”

Attack, obstruction in three more districts

Office of Kuakata pourashava BNP in Patuakhali came under attack at around 8:00pm Sunday. Pourashava BNP’s president Abdul Aziz Musulli alleged that the Awami League, Jubo League and Chhatra League men took out a procession in the city and vandalised the locked BNP office. Local Awami League leaders, however, denied the allegation.

Activists of AL and its associate bodies have allegedly attacked a BNP rally in front of the party’s office in Tangail’s Kalihati on Sunday afternoon. The attackers vandalised 17 motorcycles, four buses and six pickup vans.

In Bhola, police obstructed the entourage of former BNP lawmaker Hafiz Ibrahim at Jugirghola area. Hafiz was heading towards Borhanuddin upazila to participate in the party’s rally.

Superintendent of Bhola police Md Saiful Islam said they obstructed the former lawmaker as there were no permission for rallies in Daulatkhan and Borhanuddin.

Section 144 in three upazilas

Local administrations of Cox’s Bazar’s Pekua, Rangamati’s Kaptai and Thakurgaon’s Pirganj upazilas imposed Section 144 in their respective areas on Sunday to avert any untoward situation after the units of the BNP and AL announced back-to-back programmes at same places.

Section 144 of CrPC restricts freedom of assembly.

BNP cancelled its rally in Pekua but the AL men brought out several rallies in different parts defying section 144. Both parties cancelled their programmes in Kaptai and Pirganj.

Both parties call programmes in same place in two upazilas

BNP announced to hold a mass rally in Bus stand area Raipur upazila in Lakshmipur on Monday. Upazila and pourashava Awami Swecchasebak League has called a mourning programme at the same place.

The BNP earlier on Wednesday wanted to hold a rally at the same time but they had to cancel the plan as AL announced to hold a rally at the same place.

BNP announced to hold a protest rally at Sonagazi upazila in Feni on Monday but Chhatra League, the student wing of ruling Awami League, called a discussion and dua mahfil at the same place.

Two cases in Magura and Noakhali

A case has been filed in connection with clash centering BNP’s rally in Magura on Saturday. Adarsha College Chhatra League’s general secretary Saurav Molla filed the case naming 36 BNP men and 300-400 unidentified people.

BNP leaders, however, alleged that AL leaders attacked the rally organised by Sadar upazila and pourashava unit BNP. While the Chhatra League leader brought out allegations of hurling bombs and wielding weapons against the BNP leaders, it was indeed the ruling party men who did these misdeeds.

Sadar police station’s officer-in-charge Md Mostafizur Rahman said the six BNP men arrested from the scene have been shown arrested in the case.

In Noakhali’s Sonaimuri, police filed a case against 494 BNP men including central joint secretary general AMM Mahbub Uddin over a clash between the Awami League and the BNP men. Some 300-400 other unidentified persons have been made accused in the case.

Sub-inspector Shah Alam filed the case on Saturday accusing BNP men of attacking the police on Friday.

Two BNP activists have been arrested in the case, said officer-in-charge of Sonaimuri police station Harun Or Rashid.

The political field in the country was calm for quite some time and the government was showing restraint on question of the political showdown of the opposition parties. But the scenario started to change after the BNP hold a massive rally in front of its Naya Paltan central office on 11 August protesting price hike and killing of two leaders allegedly by police fire in Bhola.

Countering the BNP’s programme, AL also held big rallies in Dhaka and elsewhere on 17 August. The AL leaders at the rallies announced to ‘face BNP on the streets’.

Political analysts think that attack on BNP rallies in different parts of the country is part of their plan to prevent the party from mobilising support, especially when the country is likely to hold 12th Jatiya Sangsad (national parliament) elections at the end of next year or at the beginning of 2024.