BNP office attacked after AL by-polls camp office vandalised in Chattogram

The office of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) in Chattogram city comes under attack on 19 July 2023.
Jewel Shil

The office of Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) was attacked in Chattogram city hours after the Awami League camp office of Chattogram-10 constituency by-polls was vandalised in the port city’s Lalkhan Bazar.

The attack of the BNP office took place around 6:30pm. Attackers also set fire to BNP’s banners and festoons hung outside the office.

Earlier in the day, leaders and activists of BNP and its associated bodies brought out a march for a ‘one-point movement’ demanding the ouster of the government in front of the party office at Nasimon Bhaban in the city. The march ended in Dewanhat Mor via Lalkhan Bazar.

When the march was crossing the Lalkhan Bazar area, brick chips were hurled at the BNP leaders and activists from the office of Md Mohiuddin Bacchu, who is the Awami League-nominated candidate for the by-election to Chattogram-10 constituency.

According to witnesses, BNP men then beat the Awami League leaders and activists at the election camp.

Hearing the news, leaders and activists of Awami League, Juba League and Chhattra League gathered in Lalkhan Bazar and brought out a protest procession.

They then vandalised the BNP office at Nasimon Bhaban chanting Joy Bangla slogans. The attackers also torched BNP’s banner and festoons outside the office. However, no leaders and activists of BNP were present at the office during the attack.

Leaders and activists of Awami League set fire to BNP’s banner and festoons in front of the BNP office in Chattogram city on 19 July 2023.
Jewel Shil

Police arrived in the scene after the incident and removed the leaders and activists of Awami League. Police also cordoned off the BNP office.

Asked Kotwali police station officer-in-charge Zahidul Kabir said they were looking into the matter and forces remain deployed in the area.

When asked, BNP city office in-charge Idris Ali said about 500 people from Lalkhan came together in procession and vandalised the party office chanting ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan and there was no one in the office at that time.

Replying to a query, Idris Ali said, “I have no idea about vandalising the Awami League office in Lalkhan Bazar. Our march was peaceful.”

Awami League city unit publicity secretary Shafiqul Islam told Prothom Alo, “BNP attacked our office injuring several people."

The by-election to the Chattogram-10 constituency (Chattogram City Corporation wards 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 24, 25, 26) is scheduled to be held on 30 July.