Four attacks on Khaleda Zias motorcade in two years
Agitated motorcyclists jaw at their opponents after the attack on BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zias motorcade in Feni.
BNP leaders claim Awami League's fear of BNP's popularity is causing the attacks.
In a span of just two years, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia has found her motorcade attacked on four occasions, including the Saturday attack in Feni.
The previous attacks took place in 2015 during the Dhaka North and South City Corporation elections. Khaleda was campaigning when her motorcade was attacked on three separate occasions on the same day. The first attack took place in Karwan Bazar, then Bangla Motor, and the final attack in Fakirapool.
BNP leaders have claimed the ruling party is behind these attacks because they lack popular support.
Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam blamed the government on Saturday night. He was addressing the media at Chittagong Circuit House when he pressed his allegations.
“The government has to stop these heinous pre-planned attacks. They will not establish democracy,” Mirza Fakhrul claimed.
Khaleda Zia set out for Cox’s Bazar to provide relief to the Rohingya on Saturday morning. The motorcade came under attack when it was passing through Mahipal upazila in Feni. The attackers torched a car belonging to a Chhatra Dal leader. The attack spread to the local markets around the highway. Several journalists were injured when their vehicles were attacked.
BNP holds local Chhatra League responsible for the attack.
Amir Khasru Mahmud Choudhury, member of BNP’s Standing Committee, told the Bangla Tribune that the government is terrified by the popularity of BNP and Khaleda Zia. He said the attack was a desperate effort to intimidate BNP.
He also said the government is going down a path of self-destruction.
Khaleda Zia’s Personal Secretary Shimul Bishwas said the BNP chairperson strongly condemned the attack, in particular the attack on journalists.
In the 2015 attack, no journalists were harmed, a start contrast to Saturday’s attack.
The atmosphere in Feni was intense throughout the motorcade’s journey through the district. There are concerns that similar attacks may take place on Sunday on the way to Cox’s Bazar and on Monday in Ukhiya.
BNP Vice Chairman Abdullah Al Noman said around 15-20 journalists were injured in the attack. He said the ruling party is growing more and more fascist by the day. Source: Dhaka Tribune
Another vice chairman of BNP, Shamsuzzaman Dudu, said: “Awami League is a party of bullies and thugs. They understand nothing but violence. Their general secretary, Minister Obaidul Quader met with Jubo League and Chhatra League leaders in Feni a few days ago. Was the attack planned at that meeting?”
The law enforcement was on alert all along the highway, peacefully restraining jubilant BNP members. They cooperated with the Highway Police to ensure no tailbacks were created on the highway in Dhaka, Narayanganj and Comilla.
However, the constant vigilance of law enforcement mysteriously disappeared once the motorcade approached Feni.
Dudu, who accompanied Khaleda, said: “The police maintained law and order, but did nothing in some places. Their complacency allowed the Awami League goons to attack the motorcade.”