Khokon, who is contesting Sunday’s parliamentary election as a candidate for the main opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), alleges he was shot on Dec. 15 by a senior police officer in Noakhali, a mostly-rural district in the country’s southeast.
Police, the government and the Awami League also deny opposition allegations of intimidation, and say the election campaign period has been fair.
While violence during election campaigns is not new in the South Asian nation, the attack on Khokon and his supporters has fed into the opposition accusations.
“The (police) officer-in-charge asked Khokon to leave the place immediately and then abruptly fired pellet bullets at the petitioner (Khokon),” said a lawsuit Khokon has filed at the Dhaka High Court against specific police officers, the government and the election commission.
Tanmoy Das, the returning officer in charge of overseeing elections and police in Noakhali, said Khokon had made exaggerated claims and it was not the police but others, perhaps people from Khokon’s own party, who shot at him because of internal discord.
“Some violence is usual in our politics,” Ibrahim said, adding that Khokon’s supporters had attacked an Awami League office on the same day and in the same area that Khokon was attacked.
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