Ishraq’s rally comes under attack
Supporters of Ishraque Hossain, the BNP-backed mayoral candidate for Dhaka South City Corporation, and his supporters came under attack in Gopibagh area while campaigning on Sunday.
Witnesses said a group of miscreants attacked Ishraque and his men leaving some BNP leaders and activists along with some journalists injured.
Ishraque had started his campaigning from Gopibagh Central Women's College when at one point the attackers swooped on him. The two sides traded blows for about 40 minutes during which several vehicles were damaged.
Witnesses said supporters of Awami League-sponsored councilor candidate Rokon Uddin Ahmed and reserved women councilor candidate Lovely Chowdhury were waiting on the road just before Ishraque's procession was about to arrive there.
Tensions mounted as the two sides shouted slogans before the violent altercation erupted. The two sides hurled brickbats and chairs at each other. The situation came under control once the police arrived on the scene.
Ishraque said, "The attack was part of a ploy to sabotage the elections. We were coming back from a rally from Hatkhola via Tikatuli and were two minutes away from my home when it happened."
Ishraque said: "We were returning to Gopibag after holding a peaceful campaign rally in Motijheel. On the way, we passed by an election campaign camp of Awami League.
"While we were passing by, some people began throwing brickbats from an under construction building in the area. I told my supporters to stay calm but then we heard that one of our men was being beaten.
"When I went to rescue him, they hurled brickbats towards me as well. At one point, I also heard some shots being fired," Ishraque claimed. The mayoral candidate said that seven to eight of his people were injured in the attack.
Speaking on the matter, DMP Wari Division acting Deputy Commissioner (DC) Shah Iftekhar Ahmed said, "We were informed that his campaign would begin late in the afternoon in the Wari or Gandaria area and we took steps according to that information."
According to a press release issued by Ishraque's media wing, the conflict lasted around 15 to 20 minutes, where several media workers were also injured.
The statement said no law enforcement members were seen nearby during the attack.
The situation was brought under control when police arrived at the spot almost half an hour later.