POST TIME: 11 July, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Barishal city polls
23 mayoral, councillor candidates face 67 cases
Murad Ahmed, Barishal

23 mayoral, councillor 
candidates face 67 cases

Twenty-three candidates, including three mayoral aspirants, have been accused in 67 criminal cases in police stations under the metropolitan police and others.  Most of accused are BNP leaders who faced charges during the anti-government movements in 2014. The maximum number of these cases had been filed by the police. However, all the accused were granted bail by courts, but the cases are still pending.

According to metropolitan police sources, BNP nominated mayor candidate Adv. Mujibur Rahman Sarwar has been accused in 13 cases. His other five cases were expeditioned by the court.

BSD-nominated mayor candidate Dr Monisha Chakrabartee is facing two police cases. She recently came out from jail after getting bail. Police filed the cases against her and her associates, accusing them of attacking police during an agitation by drivers of battery-powered rickshaws in the city.  Jatiya Party candidate Iqbal Hosen Tapos is also implicated in two cases.

Police and EC sources also confirmed that 20 councillor candidates of different wards of the city face 50 criminal cases but are out on bail.

According the sources, two councillor candidates were accused in seven cases in Kawnia police station, six were accused in 12 cases in the Airport police station and 12 were accused in 31 cases in the Kotwali model police station. They all fear police harassment during their election campaign. Dr Monisha Chakrabarty, BSD-nominated mayor candidate, said in both the cases against her the police also attached 60 or 70 unknown persons. She feared that in the name of “unknown” people, police will harass her workers during the peak hours of the campaign.

KM Shahid Ullah, another councillor candidate, said that 20 councillor aspirants had several case dates falling during the campaign time.  

He complained the role of the police was not fair, and urged the government not to disturbed them during the election.

Advocate Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, BNP-nominated mayor candidate, accused in 13 cases, said, “Police have no right to disturb us in connection with the cases, as we have got bail from the court. But police is police; taking advantage of small gaps in the cases, they will harass us.”

 Facing the reality, Prof. Gazi Zahid Hosen, district president of the Socheton Nagorik Committee, said, as police filed these cases against political persons, they need executive order to stop harassment. However, since all the accused had got bail from the court, he urged the authorities to stop all police harassment of the candidates during the election period.