Two cases have been filed in connection with the attack on the official residence of the Sadar Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) in Barishal and Awami League men’s clash with law enforcers during the attack.
UNO Munibur Rahman Shovon filed one of the cases against some people, including Barishal City Corporation (BCC) Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah, with Kotwali Model Police Station on Thursday while police lodged the other case accusing 40 people, including leaders of Awami League and its associate bodies.
A total of 13 people, including city AL Joint General Secretary Hasan Mahmud Babu and Rupatali Bus Sramik Union General Secretary Shahriar Babu, have so far been arrested in connection with the cases.
The clash broke out between the leaders and activists of Awami League and its associate bodies and Ansar members during the attack on the UNO’s residence on Wednesday night.
At least 30 people, including two policemen, were injured and five suffered bullet wounds during the clash. The injured were admitted to Sher-e-Bangla Medical College Hospital (SBMCH).
The injured policemen were also admitted to the hospital while the Ansar members were taking treatment at other healthcare centres.
Sources claimed that the supporters Sadiq Abdullah attacked the UNO’s bungalow due to their wrath against UNO Shovon.
According to witnesses, around 10 BCC employees, responsible for removing banners and posters, went to the UNO office and residence at the upazila parishad complex around 10:00pm on Wednesday to remove National Mourning Day banners.
At one stage, the UNO came out of his residence and wanted to know the reason behind the arrival, which led to an altercation between him and a city corporation employee. “They took offence when I asked them to come in the morning to remove the banners,” said Shovon.
At one stage of the altercation, some 80-90 people, including local Awami League and Bangladesh Chhatra League leaders and activists, entered the upazila parishad complex and engaged in a scuffle with the Ansar members, triggering a clash. “They also broke the gate of the residence. Ansar members fired shots during this time to ensure my safety,” the UNO said.
As police rushed in on information, the AL men also attacked them, said witnesses.
Following the clashes, bus and launch services between Barishal and the rest of the country were suspended in the morning. However, their operations resumed in the afternoon.
Besides, police and Rapid Action Battalion members were deployed at important points the city. CNB Road was blocked with garbage trucks of the city corporation.
Meanwhile, BCC Mayor Sadiq claimed that he went to the spot to bring the situation under control but Ansar members fired shots at him.
He also demanded a probe into the clash.
At a press conference at Sadiq’s residence on Thursday afternoon, local Awami League termed the incident a planned one aimed at destabilising the city in the month of mourning and demanded judicial probe into it.