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AL, BNP trade blames

38Attack on Khaleda’s motorcade at Karwan bazar

Both the Awami League and the BNP are blaming each other for Monday’s attack on the motorcade of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia at Karwan Bazar in the capital, which has drawn widespread criticism from different quarters.
Both the parties have filed cases accusing activists of their rival camps.
The State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal has blamed, what he terms, excesses by the personal security men of the BNP chief while Khaleda herself claimed that the attack was launched by ruling party activists aimed at killing her.
The State Minister for Home Affairs, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, has said that members of the Chairperson’s Security Force (CSF) triggered the incident at Karwan Bazar on Monday, leading to the attack on Khaleda Zia’s motorcade.
Talking to reporters at Dhaka’s launch terminal, Kamal said, “People, especially businessmen, suffered during the 92 days of blockade and hartal called by the BNP. These people were upset when the BNP chief went to the area to campaign. The CSF also swooped down on local people.”
The state minister, however, said that law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter. What actually happened will become clear after the probe.
To a question, he said they will provide more security for Khaleda Zia if the BNP seeks it.
Kamal said people injured in the incident have the right to take legal steps. “We will look into the matter after complaints are filed,” he said.
BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia alleges that the attack was carried out to kill her. She said this while campaigning in the capital’s Shahjahanpur area yesterday for BNP-backed DSCC mayoral aspirant Mirza Abbas.
Earlier, the chief security adviser to the BNP chairperson, Major General (retd) Fazleh Elahi
Akbar, apprehends further attacks on Khaleda Zia. “The former Prime Minister is under death threat. The government should have beefed up
her security after Monday’s incident in the interest of the nation. It does not require any petition to seek security for the BNP chief after such an incident,” he said.
At present, the CSF, a 22-member squad of private security guards, is providing full-time security to Khaleda Zia.
Members of the CSF are retired personnel of law enforcement agencies. The security force is supervised by a retired Major General of the army. The CSF men wear bulletproof jackets like their SSF counterparts.
Also, members of the Special Branch (SB) of the police provide security to the BNP chief.
Meanwhile, police finally accepted the case lodged by the BNP against more than 100 unidentified persons in connection with Monday’s attack on Khaleda Zia’s motorcade at Karwan Bazar.
Khaleda’s security adviser, Fazle Elahi Akbar, lodged the case with Tejgaon police station at 12:05pm yesterday.
It was alleged in the first information report (FIR) that the attack and firing at Khaleda’s motorcade were aimed at killing her. She, however, escaped unhurt as she was travelling in a bulletproof car.
Earlier, pro-BNP lawyers, including barrister Mahbubuddin Khokan, who went to the police station with the plaintiff, alleged that the police were deliberately delaying recording of the case. Advocate Sanaullah Miah and Masum Ahmed Talukder, among others, was also present on the occasion.
Talking to The Independent, Tejgaon police station officer-in-charge (OC) Majharul Islam said that the case lodged by the BNP had been accepted.
He, however, refuted the allegation that the police had delayed lodging the case. “I was outside the office. I accepted the case after I went through the matter,” he said, adding, “The allegation is baseless.”
Earlier, on Monday night, president of the Ward 26 unit of the ruling Awami League (AL), Zahirul Haque Zillur, also filed a case against 100 unidentified people involved in the attack.
Majharul Islam said in his FIR, Zillur had alleged that the BNP chairperson’s security forces and party activists were shouting at the top of their voices to create disorder, even as activists of the ruling party campaigned for their candidates.
Additional deputy commissioner of police (Tejgaon zone), Wahidul Islam, confirmed that Tejgaon police station accepted the case in the afternoon. He said the ruling Awami League also filed a case against some 100 unidentified people.
Meanwhile, convener of the pro-BNP professional group, Adarsha Dhaka Andolon, Prof Emajuddin Ahmed, yesterday alleged that the attack on Khaleda Zia’s motorcade was intended to kill her. “The government and the ruling party should have condemned the incident. However, they filed a case against some 100 unidentified persons, including the members of her (Khaleda’s) security force,” he said at a press conference at the Adarsha Dhaka Andolon office at Paltan in the city.
The former Dhaka University VC referred to a newspaper report saying that one Chhatra League activist, Al-Amin, had led the attack. He added it was regrettable that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had dubbed the incident “a drama” staged by Khaleda Zia.
He alleged that “AL terrorists carried out the attack on Khaleda’s motorcade after the Premier and her colleagues made provocative statements.” Ahmed called upon the Election Commission (EC) to ensure that people could vote and that every candidate could reach voters without fear or interruption.
Journalist Shawkat Mahmud, member secretary of the organisation, said people are concerned over the attack on Khaleda Zia.
Prof Mahbub Ullaha, ANH Akhter Hossain, DUJ president and poet Abdul Hye Sikder and Jahangir Alam Prodhan, among others, were present at the press conference.
BNP-backed mayoral candidate Tabith Awal yesterday urged the returning officer for Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) polls to take necessary ‘effective’ steps as per law over the attack on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia’s
In a letter to the DNCC returning officer, Tabith alleged the supporters of Awami League-backed mayoral candidate Annisul Huq and Awami terror groups swooped on Khaleda Zia, who was electioneering for Tabith, with arms, brickbats, stones and sticks in a bid to kill her as per their prior plan.
He further alleged that bullet was fired at Khaleda Zia who was campaigning at Karwan Bazar around 6pm and that she was saved because of her bullet proof vehicle.
Tabith said that the incident of attack on Khaleda Zia has been published and broadcast in different print and electronic media. Different political parities including the BNP and civil society members strongly condemned the incident and demanded that such heinous act must stop, he added.
Meanwhile, Annisul Huq, the ruling Awami League-backed mayoral candidate in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) polls, yesterday condemned the Monday’s attack on the motorcade of BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia.
In a statement issued yesterday, Annisul Huq also expressed his grave concern over the attack and said the environment just a week ahead of the city election is being made murky and unstable through such attacks. He also said the attack on the BNP chief is very unfortunate.

Khaleda motorcade attacked again
The BNP chairperson’s motorcade again came under attack by miscreants during her electioneering in the capital’s Fakirapool area yesterday, reports UNB. A group of people hurled brickbats and stones at her motorcade as she was going to Nayaplatan through the Fakirapool crossing after her polls campaign for Mirza Abbas in front of Polwel Super Market.
As the BNP leaders and activists and police chased the attackers they fled the scene. However, Khaleda escaped unhurt.