At least six theatre activists were injured in an alleged attack by BNP activists at the Sardasmriti Bhaban, an auditorium on the bank of the Surma River in Sylhet, yesterday.
Theatre activists alleged that members of the BNP and its affiliate organisations, who participated in the party's Bhairab-Sylhet road march, launched the attack this evening during a theatre festival.
Eyewitnesses and theatre workers said a three-day theatre festival was organised by the Sammilita Natya Parishad Sylhet – a combined platform of Sylhet-based theatre groups – at the Sardasmriti Bhaban.
The festival was arranged to mark the reopening of Sardasmriti Bhaban, which had been closed for the last 10 years.
Sammilita Natya Parishad Sylhet General Secretary Rajat Kanti Gupta said, "A procession of BNP supporters was heading towards Aliya Madrasa in Sylhet in support of the party's road march. From there, some people entered the hall of Sarda Bhaban and suddenly attacked the theatre workers."
According to locals, the BNP's road march from Kishoreganj's Bhairab reached Sylhet in the evening. Welcoming the road march, affiliate bodies of the BNP in the city brought out small-scale processions. The attack at the theatre festival was launched by participants of one such procession.
Soon after the incident took place, Sylhet city Mayor Ariful Haque Choudhury went to the spot and said legal action would be taken against the perpetrators.
"The attackers will not be spared even if they are from my party. They will be identified and legal action will be taken against them," said Ariful, also a BNP leader.
Meanwhile, following the attack, groups of theatre workers and cultural activists brought out a procession demanding swift arrest of the attackers.
Rajat Kanti Gupta said, "We have given the administration 24 hours to catch the attackers. If they are not arrested within this period, we will take strict action."
Sylhet Kotwali model police station Officer-in-Charge (OC) Mohammad Ali Mahmud went to the spot immediately after the attack.
"We have already identified the attackers by looking at the CCTV footage. Efforts are on to arrest them.