Monday, February 8, 2010

Rice Distribution: JP lawmaker 'assaulted'

Awami League activists allegedly assaulted Jatiya Party lawmaker Abu Talha following an altercation over rice distribution under the Test Relief programme at Bagatipara Guest House in Natore Friday night.

Witnesses said Talha, an MP of Natore-1 constituency, sat with Awami League leaders to discuss sharing of the distribution of Test Relief programme rice. The lawmaker suggested that out of the 200 tonnes of rice, 133 tonnes be distributed among the poor people of his constituency by Jatiya Party workers and 62 tonnes by Awami League workers and five tonnes by Workers Party men.

The Awami League leaders, however, demanded greater share saying they had promised the people ahead of the elections. As the Awami League leaders kept on insisting, Talha asked them to go to Shefali Mamtaz, an Awami League MP, if they wanted more share. Witnesses say that the Awami League leaders became angry with this and assaulted Talha.

There were instances of hurling chairs at the lawmaker during the meeting but senior leaders rescued the lawmaker, said witnesses.

Bagatipara Awami League General Secretary Sekendar Ali said, "He [Talha] was not beaten up, only a bit abused by angry Awami League men. Senior leaders brought the situation under control before it could go out of hand."

Talha could not be reached for his comments.

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