Awami League now worried about the strategy of 'independent' candidates

Awami League worried about post-poll violence

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The ruling Awami League is once again facing infighting centered on the recently concluded 12th parliamentary elections. Ahead of the voting, threats and counter-threats as well as clashes took place between supporters of party-nominated and independent candidates associated with Awami League politics at various places in the country. Weapon firing and sporadic clashes were also reported on polling day, but post-poll clashes resulted in the loss of several lives, raising concerns for the Awami League.

Several policy makers of the party said that central leaders, who are tasked with preventing internal clashes, are talking to district and upazila leaders, as well as giving them instructions. Also, the local administration is taking legal action on every incident.

According to Prothom Alo correspondent’s reports from various districts and upazilas, four people have been killed and several hundreds injured in clashes in Noakhali, Madaripur, Netrokona and Jhenaidah since voting on January 7. Almost all the attackers, victims, injured and deceased were Awami League leaders, workers and supporters. They engaged in skirmishes on behalf of the “boat” (AL’s electoral symbol) and independent candidates.

In the latest incident, a polling agent of an independent candidate was murdered in Noakhali on Saturday night. Earlier, supporters of a boat candidate in Jhenaidah and two supporters of independent candidates in Netrokona and Madaripur were also killed. After the elections, such clashes and attacks were also reported from Jhenaidah, Kustia, Shariatpur and Madaripur. In addition, polling offices were vandalized, houses were attacked and even crops were damaged. Apart from torturing the opponents, cash, gold, cattle and furniture were also looted.

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