A violent clash between two rival chairman candidates of a union parishad (UP) election in Pabna left an independent chairman candidate dead and around 13 others injured on Saturday morning.
The deceased, Yaseen Ali, 40, son of Mozammel Hossain, was the chairman candidate of Varara Union Parishad under Sadar Upazila. He was also the cousin of another independent chairman candidate Sultan Mahmud. The wounded, who were hit by bullets, are undergoing treatment at different hospitals, including Rajshahi Medical College Hospital.
Local people said that although Yaseen was an independent candidate, he already gave his support to his cousin Sultan and was campaigning for him (Sultan).
A tense situation has been prevailing in the union over the conflicts between Awami League nominated candidate and incumbent chairman Abu Sayed Khan and the independent candidate Sultan vying in the race with ‘Horse’ symbol for the last few days.
The supporters of two chairman candidates locked in an argument over tearing posters at Kalupara in the morning.
The argument later turned into a violent clash and the supporters of the two groups equipped with firearms and sharp weapons attacked one another at about 9:30 am, they said.
The chairman candidate Yassen, who was with his cousin at that time, and 13 others sustained bullets during the clash.
Sultan Mahmud claimed that the cohorts of Sayed attacked his supporters all of a sudden.
He also claimed his 20 supporters got injured; of them, seven sustained bullet injuries. “My cousin already died and two of my supporters are in a critical condition,” he said.
But Sayed denied the allegation, saying that the supports of Sultan swooped on his supporter Abul Kalam, a member of the UP on Friday night. “I with some of the supporters went to see Kalam in the morning. When we were returning home, the supporters of Sultan suddenly attacked us on the way,” he said. He said that his younger brother sustained bullet wounds. He claimed that his 10 to 12 supporters were also hit by bullets.
Aminul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Sadar Police Station, said that additional forces were deployed in the union to avert further untoward incidents. He said they were trying to arrest those involved in the clash.