Shirhan Sharif Tamal, son of Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif, has been arrested after a case was filed over attacks and vandalism in Pabna. Tamal, the prime suspect in the case, was arrested early yesterday in Ishwardi Upazila, his hometown.
?Freedom fighter Atiar Rahman, father of Bangladesh Chhatra League's Ishwardi unit President Zubayer Biswas, filed the case with on Thursday against 24 people, including Tamal. The plaintiff claims his house came under attack on Thursday.
Police arrested 11 people in the case that also involves attacks on businesses and a restaurant owned by Ishwardi Municipality Mayor Abul Kalam Azad, a rival of Tamal. Tamal and Azad were long engaged in a turf war in the area, according to local residents. Chhatra League leader Zubayer is known to be a follower of Mayor Azad who is the son-in-law of Land Minister Shamsur Rahman Sherif.
Similar conflicts exist between local Chhatra League and Jubo League units, turning the area into a hotspot for violence, they said. Adherents of Jubo League leader Rajib Sarker, a follower of the land minister, clashed with Zubayer's supporters at the court premises in Pabna on Thursday.
The clashes left Ariful Islam, a Jubo League leader, injured. Following the incident, a group of Jubo League activists swooped on Zubayer's house and vandalised business establishments later in the day. Zubayer's mother Hazera Begum was also assaulted when she tried to intervene. She was taken to the state-run hospital in Pabna, according to case details.
Jubo League's Rajib has refuted the claim of the plaintiff that he was behind the attack. "They are trying to tarnish my image as I have an enmity with Zubayer," Rajib said. Mayor Azad said "his opponents" vandalized his personal office and other establishments. Land Minister Sherif or his family members could not be reached for comment. Pabna Superintendent of Police Zihadul Kabir said the arrestees would be taken to court yesterday.
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