Opposition Jatiya Oikya Front decries attacks on candidates

Dhaka, Dec 11 – Leaders of opposition alliance Jatiya Oikya Front have expressed their concern over carrying out attacks on their candidates and followers allegedly by the ruling party activists and called upon the government and the Election Commission to take effective measures to ensure congenial atmosphere for holding the forthcoming general elections in a free and fair manner. The Oikya Front leaders led by its top leader and Ganoforum president Dr Kamal Hossain are going to Sylhet on Wednesday afternoon to formally start electioneering by paying a visit to the shrines of Hazrat Shahjalal (R) and Hazrat Shah Poran (R) and Bangabhir general MAG
Osmani and later attending a roadside meeting there.
BNP chairperson’s media wing officer Shairul Kabir Khan confirmed this saying that BNP standing committee member Nazrul Islam Khan, JSD president ASM Abdur Rab, BKSJL president Bangabir Kader Siddiqui, Dr Zafrullah Chowdhury, among others, would join the formal poll campaign.
Dr Kamal would lead the poll campaign for the candidates, who are contesting the polls with the sheaf of paddy, the election symbol of the BNP in the absence of its jailed chairperson Khaleda Zia.
“Attacks on Oikya Front activists is a matter of concern which is not desired at all. There should be a congenial atmosphere to carryout poll campaigns,” Dr. Kamal Hossain said while talking to Journalists last night.
He also termed the incidents of attacks on opposition activists in different parts of the country unexpected.
The Oikya Front leader called upon the government and the EC to take necessary steps to stop such attacks.
He said the Oikya Front will lodge written complaint with the EC in this regard.
BNP vice chairman and chief coordinator of the Oikya Front Barkatullah Bulu alleged that the ruling Awami League is carrying out the attacks in a bid to prevent the BNP and Oikya Front from participating in the polls.
“They (AL) are carrying out the attack as they are afraid of the polls losing their popularity,” he said.
He, however, asserted that they would be in the field of election till the last minute taking people with them and he believes that the people would cast their votes for the sheaf of paddy.
Bulu said they would discuss the latest development in the political arena including attacks at different places in its coordination committee meeting and the street committee of the Oikya Front would take the decision in its meeting soon.
Oikya Front sources said that BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Isalm Alamgir’s motorcade was attacked by local Awami League men in his hometown Thakurgaon yesterday.
Besides, attacks were also carried out on opposition activists in different places including Noakhali-5, Narail-2 and Bogura-5 constituencies, sources added.
Meanwhile, BNP standing committee member Mirza Abbas who is contesting the December 30 polls from Dhaka-8 constituency at a press conference at his Shajahanpur residence said that he was suffering from a sense of insecurity for what he said the law enforcers including plainclothesmen were moving in front of his residence. – Staff Reporter