At least three reporters and a photojournalist on duty have been assaulted allegedly by Bangladesh Chhatra League men at separate polling centres during the voting in the Dhaka city corporation elections.
Voting in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) started at 8 am, and will continue without a break till 4 pm.
In one of the incidents, online portal Agami News reporter Mostafizur Rahman Suman was badly injured when he was attacked at the Zafrabad High School centre in Mohammadpur around 11 am Saturday.
He was first rushed to Shikder Medical College Hospital for immediate treatment, and then shifted to Dhaka Medical College an hour later.
Former Crime Reporters Association of Bangladesh president Saleh Akand, who witnessed the attack, said Suman had taken photos of an Awami League candidate’s supporters who were carrying firearms on the centre premises.
“After one of them noticed, he started beating Suman and left him bleeding from his head,” Saleh said.
Talking to reporters at Banani Bidyaniketan School and College around noon, Inspector General of Police Md Javed Patwary assured that strict actions would be taken against the people who assaulted the on-duty journalists.
Regarding the attack on Suman, he said: “If the incident is true, I am ordering concerned departments to investigate. Those who have assaulted the journalists will face action.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Pratidin Staff Reporter Mahabub Momtaji and The Businesses Standard Staff Reporter Nurul Amin were beaten allegedly by leaders and activists of the ruling party’s student wing.
This incident happened at Faridabad Madrasa voting centre in Old Dhaka’s Gendaria area around 10 am.
The two journalists alleged that Chhatra League men attacked them when they were gathering information about potential irregularities at this centre.
Mahabub said: “The Chhatra League goons beat us indiscriminately and kept us confined for one and half hours.”
The attackers also took away their mobile phones, said the duo who were later rescued by police.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Lalbagh division Assistant Commissioner Abdul Hannan confirmed the incident and added that they also recovered the phones of the journalists.
Some 30 minutes after the Gendaria incident, online portal poriborton.com photojournalist Osman Ali was attacked and left injured, when he was taking photos of a clash between Chhatra League men and law enforcers at Kamrunnesa Girls High School polling centre at Tikatuli.