‘Historical conflict’: Chunka family vs Osman family

Dhaka, Wednesday, 23 January 2019

‘Historical conflict’: Chunka family vs Osman family

4:58 pm, December 20, 2016

‘Historical conflict’: Chunka family vs Osman family

Narayanganj City Corporation(NCC) election will be held on Thursday. Though at the first stage of the election, two influential political families of Narayanganj took position against each other, they agreed to work together by the intervention of Awami League president and prime minister Sheikh Hasina.

Apparently though the direct conflict between the members of two families is not seen, but in fact the cold war between the two families is not hidden. Member of Osman family Shamim Osman is repeatedly saying that he is working for the symbol of ‘Boat,’ not for mayor candidate Selina Hayat Ivy. As a result, a question is raised whether the conflict between two families will remain unsolved or not.

The history of two families :

Osman family: The history of previous three generations of Shamim Osman who became the headlines of various amazing news in different times is very variegated. Khan Saheb Osman Ali was the founder of political history of Osman family. He was born in the year 1900 at Daudkandi in Greater Comilla district. He started jute business in Narayanganj at the decade of thirties. Then he settled in Narayanganj. The political career of Khan Saheb Osman Ali started in 1946 by being elected as an MLA confiscating the security of the Nawab of Dhaka Habibullah. In 1935, Khan Saheb Osman Ali establish historical Baitul Aman in the place adjacent to Chashara rail line. Osman family claims in different times that Awami League was founded in 1949 in this Baitul Aman by the footsteps of Bangabandhu.

Afterwards, the 2 nd generation of Osman family AKM Shamsuzzoha, son of Khan Saheb Osman Ali came to the political field. He was elected as a council member of the provincial government in 1970. Khan Saheb Osman Ali died in 1971. Bangabandhu’s family had a good relationship with this family. Shamsuzzoha was elected as the member of parliament in 1973. He was awarded posthumous ‘Swadhinota Padak’ for his contribution for independence. AKM Shamsuzzoha had three sons named Nasim Osman, Selim Osman and Shamim Osman. Nasim Osman joined Jatiya Party during the time of Ershad. He was elected as member of parliament  for three times. After his death, Selim Osman , known as businessman, was elected as member of parliament in the seat Narayanganj-5. Shamim Osman was elected as member of parliament in the seat Narayanganj-4 in 1996. He is still the MP of that seat. In this way, hereditarily Osman family has grabbed a large part of the politics of Narayanganj.

Chunka family : Ali Ahmed Chunka became the president of Narayanganj city Awami League in 1970. After the independence he got involved with labor politics as well as Awami League. Ali Ahmed Chunka became popular among general people day by day. He is the first elected municipal chairman of Narayanganj. He has elected as municipal chairman for two times. Ali Ahmed Chunka was elected as president in Narayanganj zila Awami League conference in 1980 defeating opponent AKM Shamsuzzoha of Osman family. Selina Hayat Ivy is the first child of Ali Ahmed Chunka among his five children. She is a doctor in profession. After Chunka’s death on 1984, Ivy went abroad for study with scholarship on 1985. After returning from abroad, Ivy joined the political field by being elected as the secretary of health and environment of Narayanganj  zila Awami League in 1992. Selina Hayat Ivy was  in the position of  municipal mayor from 2003 to 2011. After this when government announced Narayanganj municipality as city corporation, Ivy was elected as the first city mayor of Narayanganj. She is the country's only female mayor, whose position is equivalent to a state minister. Ivy's brother and brother-in-law are involved in active politics.

Beginning of conflict between two families : After independence in 1973, the conflict between these two families began  for the reason of getting nomination in Narayanganj municipal election. At that time in municipal chairman election, Ali Ahmed Chunka wanted the support of his own party Awami League. But Mohiuddin Ahmed Khoka got the support of Awami League instead of Chunka. AKM Shamsuzzoha of Osman family was the main backing power behind Khoka’s getting support. Although Chunka knocked the door of Bangabandhu to get nomination, but all his efforts went in vain. Then he won the election as an independent candidate by a huge margin. Just after this election, cold war between Chunka family and Osman family started. After this in 1980, Shamsuzzoha and Chunka competed for the position of president in zila Awami League conference where Chunka won the election. The conflict between two families reached a peak at the time of electing mayor of Narayanganj city corporation in 2011. 37 years old event repeated. The competitors are Ivy, daughter of Chunka and Shamim Osman, son of Shamsuzzoha. Though at that time, Chunka family did not get the support of Awami League, but daughter of Chunka, Ivy won the election.  

At that time, Shamim and Ivy accused each other and quarreled openly. After this, people of the country saw these two members of two families to blame each other at various incidents. Even at the incidents like Twaki murder and seven murders, they kept on condemning each other. They accused each other for involving in murders, abduction, extortion and corruption. Even in live broadcasting of talk show in television, Shamim and Ivy were seen to exchange heated arguments and to challenge each other for power show. Though husband of Ivy’s sister Abdul Kadir took part in upazila election, but Osman family supported the other candidate Abul Hasnat Shahid Badal in that election at that time.  

From the beginning of this city election, Osman family has taken position against Chunka’s daughter Ivy. Even three names from grassroots were sent to the central for nomination where the name of Ivy was absent. It seems that Osman family was behind this incident of not sending Ivy’s name. But this time Awami League finally has nominated Ivy. When central leaders were failed to solve Ivy-Osman clash, prime minister Sheikh Hasina came for the negotiation of this matter. After many dramas, Shamim Osman held a press conference in support of Ivy and sent gifts to Ivy.

In this NCC election, Awami League supporters are not afraid of BNP. On the contrary, all their worries are about Shamim Osman and his family. Shamim Osman is repeatedly saying that he is not working for Ivy. He is working for the party on behalf of symbol ‘Boat.’ As a result, many people fear whether Shamim Osman has really gone above the conflict with Ivy or not.

In this regard, leader of Narayanganj civil society Rafiur Rabbi (Twaki’s father) told poriborton.com that this family conflict would never be ended though for the time being it looked alright. He alleged that Shamim Osman’s silence gave birth of the greatest suspicion. Rabbi also opined that the followers of Shamim Osman were against Selina Hayat Ivy.