The issue of Noakhali Awami League's (AL) recommendation to expel Companiganj upazila's Basurhat Municipality Mayor Abdul Quader Mirza from the party has created confusion among the public.
People of the district are at a loss as to whether the district AL unit really recommended expelling Quader Mirza from the party.
Although the district AL President AHM Khairul Anam Chowdhury Salim told the media on Saturday night that "due to unavoidable reasons," he had withdrawn the recommendation; the district general secretary Md Ekramul Karim Chowdhury claimed it is still valid.
Meanwhile, claiming journalist Burhan Uddin Muzakkir – who was killed in an AL factional clash in Companiganj upazila of the district – as their own supporter, both Quader Mirza and his arch rival former upazila chairman Mizanur Rahman Badal have declared counter protest programmes.
At a Facebook Live programme on Saturday night, Ekramul Karim Chowdhury, also a lawmaker from Noakhali 4 constituency, said, "Salim Bhai [the district's AL president] came to Noakhali from Dhaka and said action should be taken against Mirza. In this context, a recommendation was made to expel Mirza from the party. But now the president says that he has withdrawn it. Although the president did this unethically, I still uphold the expulsion recommendation."
Earlier, just an hour ago, around 7:30pm on Saturday, district AL President Khairul Anam Chowdhury told the media, "I have not signed the recommendation to expel Quader Mirza and as the president, I withdraw the expulsion recommendation against Mirza for unavoidable reasons."
Earlier on Saturday evening, the recommendation letter, signed by the district AL president and general secretary, was sent to the party's central executive committee, to expel Mirza from the party.
According to the letter, Mirza has been attacking party leaders and activists for the past few weeks and making false, indecent and offensive comments about the central committee and district party leaders on Facebook Live. In this context, the letter urged to expel Mirza from all party activities.
Meanwhile, a press release, signed by AL office secretary Barrister Biplob Barua on 18 February, said that no local committee of the organisation can be canceled without the approval of the central executive committee of the party.
Both factions announce counter programmes over journalist's killing
Following the death of journalist Burhan Uddin Muzakkir while undergoing treatment at Dhaka Medical College Hospital at 10:45pm on Saturday, supporters of Quader Mirza declared they would organise a mourning programme at Basurhat Rupali Chattar at 2:30pm on Monday.
However, Badal and his supporters announced a protest rally at the same place at the same time at a press conference on Saturday afternoon.
Earlier on Friday night, during a Facebook Live programme, Badal claimed that journalist Muzakkir was his supporter.
Although Mirza's supporters claimed the deceased journalist as their supporter, the mayor himself did not do so.
Mirza claimed that Mujakkir was not his supporter. "The slain journalist is not a member of the party. Maybe he was an AL supporter. But he had no post or party membership. He went to perform his duty and fell victim to their politics of
corpses. The administration must take responsibility for this murder. The shooting took place in the presence of police. Police saw who fired."
"We will hold a rally and a milad mahfil on Monday afternoon with party leaders and activists to demand justice for the journalist's murder," he added.
Meanwhile, panic prevails in the minds of the people as the two sides have declared counter programmes over Muzakkir's death at the same location.
Companiganj thana OC Mir Zahidul Haque Rony said additional police have been deployed at the venue to avoid any untoward situation.
Human chain demands justice for Muzakkir
Journalists working in Noakhali formed a human chain in front of the Noakhali Press Club on Sunday afternoon, demanding justice for Muzakkir, who was shot dead in a clash between two AL factions while on his professional duty.
Then, a rally was held demanding the immediate arrest and trial of those involved in the murder.
Addressing the rally, journalist leaders said Awami League terrorists shot and killed journalist Muzakkir. AL leaders are playing politics of hate with the body of a young emerging journalist. The killers are blaming each other for the murder. They want more corpses to show their dominance, leadership and authority, they added.
The journalist leaders called upon the intelligence agencies of the government to keep a sharp eye on the flow of events and take action.
Apart from journalists, lawyers, human rights activists, development activists, and representatives of various professions also attended the programme.
Human chains were also formed at different upazilas of the district including Companiganj and Chatkhil demanding the arrest of the killers.
Meanwhile, through a press release, AL General Secretary and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader Sunday expressed his deep grief over the death of journalist Muzakkir.