Fulgazi Upazila Chairman of Feni was shot and burnt to death in his car by miscreants near Bilashi Cinema at Academia area of the district town on Tuesday morning.
The Chairman, Ekramul Haque, 45, was also the president of Awami League upazila unit, reports our Feni correspondent.
Three of his associates and the driver received burn injuries when the criminals set Ekramul's car on fire near Bilashi Cinema in Academy area around 10:50am. The injured associates of Ekramul were identified as Moin Uddin Shambhu, 60, former chairman of Fulgazi Sadar Union Parishad, Mohibullah Farhad, 32, executive editor of a local daily Feni Protidin and also Fulgazi correspondent of the daily Amar Desh, Awami League activist Abul Hossain, 45, and the driver of the car, Abdullah Al Mamun, 30, managed to get down from the burning car.
The chairman along with the trio was going to Fulgazi upazila from his residence in the town. The deceased Chairman Ekramul Haque was also the owner of the local daily Feni Protidin.
Mohibullah Farhad, one of the injured, said armed miscreants numbering 50 to 60 riding on microbuses and motor bikes intercepted Ekramul's car, sprayed bullets and exploded handmade bombs at the vehicle. Later, they poured petrol on the car and set it on fire, he said. But Ekramul could not move as he was hit by a bullet in his chest. The killers managed to flee from the spot, Farhad added.
On information, firefighters rushed to the scene and doused the blaze. They recovered the charred body of Ekramul from inside the car, provided to him recently by the government after he was elected upazila chairman.
Abul Kalam Azad Officer-in-Charge of Feni Sadar police station told the Daily Observer yesterday that the injured were whisked off to Feni Sadar Hospital from where Mamun and Abul Hossain have been shifted to Dhaka for better treatment.
The charred body of Ekramul was first sent to Feni Sadar Hospital morgue, and later shifted to Chittagong Medical College Hospital for DNA test, the OC said.
Poritosh Ghosh, superintendent of police (SP) of Feni district told the Daily Observer police are trying to arrest the killers.
Abdul Rahman, president of district AL, said rivalry over upazila election and personal enmity might be the reason behind the killing.
In protest against the killing, AL activists vandalised the house of Mahtabuddin Chowdury, a local BNP leader who was a chairman candidate in the recently held Fulgazi upazila election. The mob also set fire to the furniture of his house at Anandapur village in the upazila.
Ekramul's supporters ransacked a number of shops in the area following the incident and forced them to shut down in Feni municipality area.
The district administration on Tuesday deployed four platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) at different strategic points in the district town to fend off violence following the killing of Ekramul. Feni DC Humayun Kabir Khandaker said the BGB was deployed to maintain law and order in the area. The BGB members are patrolling the district town following demonstrations staged by Ekramul's supporters.
The agitated locals have blocked the Feni-Maizdi Regional Highway in protest against the killing of Ekramul Haque.
Witnesses said the locals along with the Chhatra League leaders and activists put up barricade on the Feni-Maizdi Regional Highway following the murder of the upazila chairman at noon.
They set fire to car tires in order to halt the vehicular movement on the highway and vandalised some five to six passing vehicles. Vehicular movement on the highway halted for about four hours.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the law enforcement agencies to immediately arrest the killers of Ekramul Haque. She said Ekramul was a young popular AL leader, who wanted to modernise Fulgazi upazila.
Anti-liberation elements and evil forces, who want to destroy the organisational strength of the ruling party through killings and terrorism, might have link with the brutal killing, she said.
In separate incidents, two men were shot dead by masked gunmen separately at Chatkhil upazila in Noakhali in the early hours of Tuesday.
The deceased are Kamal Hossain, 35, a ticket counter staff of Al Baraka Paribahan at Dashgharia bus stand in Chatkhil upazila, and Dulal Hossain, 33, a bus helper and son of late Nurul Islam of Sundurpur village in the same upazila. Another two people Abdul Hannan, 19, and Monir Hossain, 35, were severely injured by gun shots of miscreants.
Md Ilias Sharif superintendent of police (SP) Noakhali district told the Daily Observer that two gunmen on a motorcycle wearing masks swooped on the ticket counter of Al Baraka Paribahan in Dashgharia at about 5:15am and opened fire at Kamal while he was on duty, leaving him injured critically. Injured Kamal was rushed to Chatkhil Up