Narayanganj city Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy has alleged that an attempt had been made to kill her from just “two yards away” during Tuesday’s mayhem on Bangabandhu Road in Chashara.
“I will take legal steps… 100 to 150 people were wounded. I suffered injuries in my leg. I was unarmed and so were my people,” she told reporters at her Nagar Bhaban office yesterday.
The mayor was briefing journalists a day after supporters of local Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman allegedly attacked Ivy and her followers over eviction of street hawkers, leading to a fierce clash. Ivy and around 50 others were injured.
Giving an account of Tuesday’s incident, the mayor said she did not go there to fight, rather she wanted to tell hawkers to clear the streets and do business in the hawkers’ market built by the city corporation.
“We walked down the footpath to the press club to hold a press conference there. But we came under attack before we could reach there. Brickbats started raining down on us. An attempt was made to kill me from just two yards away,” she said.
A three-member body, headed by Additional Deputy Commissioner (revenue) Jashim Uddin Haider, has been formed to probe the incident. It will submit a report within a week.
No case was filed as of last night. However, a general diary was lodged with Narayanganj Sadar Model Police Station over the brandishing of firearm by Jubo League leader Niazul Islam, allegedly loyal to Osman.
Tension still ran high in the city yesterday with a huge number of law enforcers deployed at various points. Hawkers were not spotted on the footpaths in Chashara.
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has said the party high command summoned Ivy and Osman for explanations over Tuesday’s incident.
At yesterday’s press conference, Ivy said, “I am the mayor and he [Shamim Osman] is my party lawmaker. He did this on his own and I don’t know why he had done this.”
“He made an announcement the day before [Monday] and told police that ‘this is my order, not a request, that hawkers will be on footpaths from 4:00pm’. And this man can do anything if he wants,” she alleged.
Ivy further said she wanted to free the Bangabandhu Road from hawkers as the city corporation had already built a hawkers’ market that can accommodate 1,500 to 2,000 hawkers.
“Footpaths and roads — everything belongs to people. Don’t I have the right to keep the footpaths clear for pedestrians? Why hawkers will sit there on the MP’s order? Then why have I made the market for them?” she added.
At a separate press conference, Osman claimed that shots had been fired from Ivy’s procession on Tuesday.
“It was not a fight between Ivy and I, rather it was a clash between the hawkers and Ivy. Some people were trying to divert the issue. No one is telling the real facts. The shots were fired from Ivy’s procession,” he claimed.
The AL lawmaker said he took the hawker’s side because Ivy’s decision to evict the hawkers would affect them and also the AL that gave her nomination for the 2016 mayoral elections.
“I will work for the poor even if I have to leave my party,” he said.
Defending Niazul who brandished firearm during the clash, Osman said it was being reported that Niazul is his supporter.
“But the truth is he [Niazul] is our party activist. He was beaten thrice while he walking on the Bangabandhu Road. He had no choice but to pull out his pistol as he was beaten for the fourth time. His pistol was lost during the incident,” Osman said.
He, however, said that if Niazul had opened fire, there should be a probe into the matter.
[Our Narayanganj Correspondent contributed to this report]
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