CHITTAGONG: Five senior BNP leaders, including Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, were injured as a group of youths attacked his motorcade in Rangunia upazila of the district on Sunday.
Witnesses said the youths, equipped with rods, sticks and weapons, swooped on a BNP delegation and vandalised their motorcade at Isakhali in the morning.
Party sources said a delegation, led by BNP secretary-general Mirza Fakhrul, came under the attack on his way to the landslide-ravaged areas in Rangamati.
The other leaders injured are Amir Khasru Mahmud Chowdhury, Ruhul Amin Chowdhury and Mahbubur Rahman Shamim and Golam Nabi.
Leaders of the opposition party blamed ruling Awami League supporters for the attack. They strongly denounced the attack and said it is an attack on democracy.
To protest against the attack, the embattled party announced demonstrations in cities and towns in the country for today.
The ruling party refuted the allegation of the attack. “The AL has no link with the incident,” said AL lawmaker Dr Hasan Mahmud.
An angry mob carried out the attack as a vehicle of the motorcade smashed two locals, he added.
After receiving medical treatment, the five BNP leaders returned to Chittagong city and held a press conference at Chittagong Press Club in the afternoon.
Fakhrul told the media that 30 to 40 youths equipped with weapons, iron rods and sticks attacked them in a planned way.
The attackers vandalised vehicles of the motorcade, chanting ‘Joy Bangla’ slogan.
The attack proves that the government is running the country in a fascist way and they don’t believe in democracy, he also said.
“We were going to Rangamati to stand beside the landslide victims — not to hold a rally. I and other leaders suffered injuries in the attack,” he added.
“We came back due to lack of security and asked BNP leaders in Rangamati to distribute relief among the victims.”
Amir Khasru alleged that ‘cadres’ of Awami League publicity secretary Hasan Mahmud might have carried out the attack.
A large number of people were killed in Rangamati landslides on Tuesday, but no state mourning was announced as they (govt) have no sympathy and accountability to people, Fakhrul alleged.
Humayun Kabir, officer-in-charge of Rangunia police station, said they were not informed about the matter of changing route by the delegation to go to Rangamati.
Asked about the two people hit by the motorcade, the police officer said he has no information about this.