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20 March, 2019 01:16:42 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 20 March, 2019 12:30:20 PM

Rangamati AL leader shot dead hours after 7-murder

Rangamati AL leader shot dead hours after 7-murder
Bangladesh Army and Border Guard Bangladesh personnel yesterday patrol Noymile area of Baghaichhari upazila in Rangamati where seven people, including two polling officials, were shot dead on Monday. STORY ON PAGE 1 INDEPENDENT PHOTO

Just 12 hours after an attack on polling officials in Rangamati that killed 7 people, an Awami League (AL) upazila-unit president was gunned down by unidentified men at Bilaichhari upazila in the district yesterday morning. The deceased was identified as Suresh Kanti Tanchangya, 45, president of Bilaichhari upazila Awami League. Meanwhile, the army, supported by members of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and police, launched a joint drive in Baghaichhari upazila soon after Monday’s gruesome attack on the polling officials and law enforcers. “We have launched combing operation since (yesterday) morning. We have reports that the criminals who committed the attack have fled from the area. We are conducting drives at all the possible places to track them down. None will be spared,”

said Brigadier General Hamidul Haque, Regional Commander in Rangamati while talking to media yesterday. However, the drive is yet to make any arrests, said an army official.

Talking to The Independent, Superintendent of Police (SP) of Rangamati district M Alamgir

Kabir said the rebel groups of the local parties (JSS and UPDF) may have carried out the attack on poll officials after losing upazila election.

“We are trying to arrest the culprits by conducting special joint forces drives with the members of the Bangladesh Army, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and the police since Monday night,” he added.

The attack in Bailaichhari took place at Alikheyang around 8.30 am yesterday, the police official said.

“He (Suresh Kanti Tanchangya) was returning to Bilaichhari by a boat from Farua Union along with his family when a group of people attacked him,” the SP said.

Police are investigating the matter and the reason behind the killing is yet to be ascertained, he said.

“No one has so far been arrested in connection with the murder,” the police official added.

Suresh Kanti’s body was taken to Bilaichhari and the body will be sent to Rangamati for a post-mortem, said Asif Iqbal, the Bilaichhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO).  

Sources said, Suresh was forcibly taken away from the boat at gunpoint by three unidentified men yesterday morning. Suresh was then taken to a hill top and shot there. The critically injured AL leader died while being taken to Bilaichari Upazila Health Complex, said sources.

Following the AL leader’s murder, party activists staged a demonstration in the upazila.  District Awami League leaders blamed armed groups of Jana Samhati Samity (JSS) and United People's Democratic Front (UPDF) for the attack.

Meanwhile, a tense situation prevails in Baghaichhari upazila as the killing of 7 people, which also injured 16 others, has shocked all. Security has been beefed up in the area to prevent any further attacks.

Parbotto Bangali Chattra Parisad has called for hartal today in the district protesting the incident.

Baghaichhari Police Station OC Manjurul Alam said the police are preparing to file a case over the incident.

“Till now (yesterday afternoon) we have not made any arrest over the attack,” he added. The deputy commissioner (DC) of Rangamati has formed an 8-member committee to probe the attack.

Local Awami League leaders have accused the Janasanghati Samity (JSS) for the attack. The JSS has denied the allegation and demanded a thorough probe.

Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda yesterday said the attack on the election officials during the upazila parishad polls was pre-planned.

He said there was no negligence in security arrangements. The perpetrators carried out the pre-planned attack as soon as they found an opportunity, he said.

The CEC came up with the remarks while talking to journalists at Chattogram Circuit House yesterday after visiting some of the wounded at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Chattogram.

About the upazila polls held in hill areas, the CEC said that the election was fair, adding that complaints do not make an election defective.

He assured financial support for the families of the deceased and also said the commission will bear the cost of the treatment for those injured in the attack.

Meanwhile, visiting the CMH in Dhaka, where seven of the injured are being treated, Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder said the motive behind the attack is still unknown.

Responding to question from Journalists, the commissioner said, “We cannot say anything right now. After investigation, we could say about the motive of the attack. The law enforcement agencies are investigating the matter.

Earlier on Monday evening, seven people, including two polling officials and four Ansar personnel, were shot dead in Rangamati's Baghaichhari upazila as they were returning after the end of voting in the second phase of upazila polls.

Unidentified men opened fire on the vehicles as they were returning with

election materials to the Upazila Sadar from a polling station in Sajek Union, said officials.




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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