Violence part of Bangladesh’s political culture: EC Rafiqul
Election Commissioner Rafiqul Islam on Friday appeared to be justifying the recent pre-polls violence, calling it part of political culture.
“Fighting and verbal jousting are part of Bangladesh’s political culture,” he said, replying to a question on recent polls-related violence.
“The situation becomes overheated when the election schedule is announced. It doesn’t feel good if there’s no heat,” he said at a programme on women protection and security during election at Shilpakala Academy in the city.
BNP has been complaining about attacks on their campaigns by Awami League activists in many areas, including capital Dhaka.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir’s motorcade was attacked in Thakurgaon. Mirza Abbas and his wife Afroza Abbas’ campaigns were attacked several times in capital Dhaka, while Barrister Mahbub Uddin Khokon was hit by bullets in Noakhali.
Gono Forum leader Dr Kamal’s motorcade was also attacked in the capital.
“He (EC Rafiqul) is not only encouraging the ruling party to engage in violence but also taking position against the country and the Constitution,” Subrata Chowdhury, a senior Jatiya Oikyafront leader, told UNB.
“His comment is very unfortunate,” said Subrata, also the Gono Forum executive president.
Questioning the neutrality of the EC, Subrata said, “Rafiqul’s statement shows that they (EC) are working in favour of a particular party and they do not intend to hold a fair and credible election.”