Bangladesh: Chirirbandar Hindus in panic as ‘attacker’ Jamaat leader in polls race


Accused in five criminal cases, former district Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Aftab Uddin Mollah, also incumbent chairman of Chirirbandar upazila parishad in Dinajpur, is contesting for the same post in tomorrow’s election, much to the worry of local Hindus.

The cases against Aftab include those for attacking Hindus in Chirirbandar upazila several times since August 4 in 2012 and attacking policemen last year, police said.

Three of the cases were filed under Speedy Tribunal Act, police said, adding that a charge sheet has been submitted against him in connection with attacking Hindus at Bolaibazar in Chirirbandar upazila last year.

After filing of the first case in August 2012, he went into hiding and Awami League backed Abu Hannan Md Sadeq, incumbent vice chairman, continued serving as acting chairman of Chirirbandar upazila parishad.
Aftab Uddin Mollah mentioned the cases in his electoral statements, said District Election Officer Nuruzzaman Talukdar, also returning officer of the upazila election.

Evading arrest, Aftab conducted campaign across the upazila, seeking votes from both Hindus and Muslims, locals said, adding that Aftab prefers campaigning at night.
His candidature and alleged inaction of police in arresting him triggered fresh panic among the local Hindus.

“If he is re-elected chairman, we the Hindus will be under threat again,” said Prodin Chandra Roy of Saitara village of Chirirbandar upazila.
Seeking anonymity, a police official said there is hardly any scope to do anything on the part of police as Aftab Uddin mentioned details of his cases in his electoral statement and the election office allowed him to take part in the polls.
Aftab could not be contacted as his phone remained switched off.

Source: The Daily Star