Wednesday, October 18, 2017

BNP leader Mirza Fakhrul's motorcade attacked in Chittagong

  • Senior Correspondent,
    Published: 2017-06-18 14:05:07 BdST


BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir's convoy has been attacked in Chittagong on his way to Rangamati to meet local people affected by landslides.

BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has demanded arrest of those involved in the attack while Mirza Fakhrul described it as 'an attack on democracy'.

Hasan Mahmud, the Awami League's local MP, has denied the allegation that his supporters carried out the attack.

The ruling party's General Secretary Obaidul Quader has condemned the attack and promised a fair investigation.

Senior BNP leader Amir Khosru Mahmud Chowdhury, who was accompanying Fakhrul, said they were attacked at Rangunia Upazila around 10:30am on Sunday.

He said both he and Fakhrul have been injured in the attack.

The seven-member delegation started from Chittagong in the morning for Rangamati's Kaptai. They were scheduled to board a vessel from there for Rangamati town.

"As soon as we reached Rangunia's Ichhakhali, men armed with iron rods and sharp weapons attacked our convoy. They have completely damaged our cars," said Amir Khosru, a member of BNP's policymaking National Standing Committee.

He said they were injured by shattered windshields. "We suspect supporters of Awami League leader Hasan Mahmud were behind the attack."

Later in the day, the BNP leaders held a press conference where Fakhrul said the attack targeted those who are vocal against the ‘misdeeds’ of the government.

“The Awami League has exposed its true nature. They speak of democracy but do not believe in it,” Fakhrul told reporters at the Chittagong Press Club.

Mahmud, the local MP and the ruling party's publication secretary, alleged that the car carrying the BNP secretary general hit two persons in Ichhakhali.

"The agitated locals attacked them," the former state minister told

Later in the night, Mahmud sent photographs to where he is seen clad like a day-labourer and carrying a basketful of soil as part of the inauguration of the development work on a road in Chittagong’s Rangunia in the afternoon.

“The Awami League leaders and activists are repairing the roads damaged in natural calamity in Rangunia municipality,” he said.

The attack prompted the BNP to call nationwide protests for Monday.

“This attack is an ominous sign for democracy and is meant to stop BNP leaders and activists from seeing for themselves the government’s failure in the wake of landslides,” BNP’s Senior Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said at a media briefing in Comilla.

BNP chief Khaleda condemned the government’s failure to make any arrest after the attacks.

“By contrast, our men get sued and arrested immediately if something happens, despite having no involvement,” she said at an Iftar party on Sunday.

Khaleda said the attack “proves the Awami League is carrying out all the terrorist activities and act of sabotage throughout the country”.

“They must be arrested, punished, jailed. I want justice for this.”

Awami League General Secretary Quader said the attackers will be brought to justice.

"The incident shouldn't have happened. Whoever did this, it was wrong," he told reporters.

The road transport minister also said he has asked the police to find the culprits following a neutral investigation.