AL replaces candidates for Nasinagar Union Parishad polls amid criticism

The Awami League has changed two of its candidates for the posts of Union Parishad chairman in Brahmanbaria's Nasirnagar after their nominations drew widespread criticism due to their implication in a case over the attacks on Hindu temples and homes in 2016.

Abul Hashem has been replaced by former UP member Putul Rani Biswas in Nasirnagar Sadar Union, while Md Wasim Ahmed will contest the polls in Haripur Union instead of Dewan Atiqur Rahman Ankhi .

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader confirmed the change of candidates in the two unions on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the ruling party announced the names of the candidates vying for the post of chairman in 13 unions of Nasirnagar Upazila in the upcoming polls.

But the nominations of Abul Hashem and Wasim Ahmed drew widespread criticism due to their alleged involvement in the attack on Hindus in 2016.

On Wednesday, Quader had told reporters the Awami League would remove the candidates who had any allegations of misconduct hanging over them.

On Oct 30, 2016, rumours began spreading on Facebook that temples and Hindu settlements in Nasirnagar were vandalised, looted and set on fire.

Nirmal Choudhury, a Hindu community leader, filed a case accusing around 2,500 unidentified persons. On Dec 10, 2017, police filed charges against 228 people.

Among the accused were Nasirnagar Sadar Union Parishad Chairman and Upazila Awami League Assistant Publicity Secretary Abul Hashem and Haripur Union Parishad Chairman Atiqur Rahman Ankhi.

They were both arrested and later released on bail.