Aspire Party Councillor candidate Abduallah Al Mamun was attacked with a metal pole and left with a serious head injury requiring hospital treatment while canvassing in Wapping on Friday afternoon.
WARNING: Contains graphic images of injuries
According to a statement by the Aspire Party it is alleged that at approximately 5pm on Friday 6th April after knocking on the door of a flat in Reardon House, Reardon Street, candidate Abdullah Al Mamun was repeatedly hit over the head with a blunt object by person or person unknown as he walked down stairs to leave.
Mr Mamun was taken to the Royal London hospital where he received 10 stitches in his scalp.
The incident was reported to the police but at the time of publication a statement by New Scotland Yard had not been received.
Update 14:52 Sunday 8 April 2018
Statement by Metropolitan Police:
Police were called to Reardon House, Reardon Street, E1W at 17.30hrs on Friday, 6 April following reports of an assault.
Officers attended and a man in his thirties was found with a head injury. He was taken by London Ambulance Service to an east London hospital where he was treated and later discharged.
No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue.
This incident is being treated as GBH and being investigated by Tower Hamlets CID.
Anyone with information concerning this attack is requested to call police on 101 quoting reference CAD 5813/6April or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
“I thought I was going to die”
This afternoon our candidate Abdullah Al Mamun was violently attacked whilst out campaigning in Wapping. This kind of behaviour is wrong and completely unacceptable. We have reported this to the police and will allow them to investigate the matter further. pic.twitter.com/MbIXn2ose0— Aspire Party (@AspireParty) April 6, 2018
In a prepared statement Mr. Mamun said: “I thought I was going to die. I felt that my head had split in two with the blood pouring out.”
Incident outside Wapping mosque
“I do not know who attacked me but I was threatened on 23 March outside Wapping Noorani mosque, Prusom Street around 2pm by a couple of men who said: “Don’t come around campaigning in our area otherwise we will sort you out”, said Mr. Mamun.
“I call on all politicians and political parties to ask their supporters to behave respectfully and ethically”
Mr. Mamun said that the names and address of the two men had been given to the police.
It is not known if the encounter outside Wapping Mosque in March is related to the assault on the Aspire party candidate on Friday.
Motive for attack unknown
The motive for the assault on Mr. Mamun is not known although local sources confirm it may be due to political turf wars.
This is by no means conclusive proof that the assault was politically motivated.
Every weekend during an election the streets of Wapping, as in every ward in the borough, are teeming with groups of political canvassers visiting homes in the neighbourhood in search of votes.
When these groups see each other, despite having different political beliefs, usually nothing more than good humoured banter is exchanged.
It seems the only thing Mr. Mamun may have done wrong is knock on the wrong door at the wrong time.
This is neither excuse or reason for the attack.
Rahman condemns violence in speech at Wapping mosque
Following the attack former mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman made an unannounced visit to Wapping mosque on Friday evening and gave an impromptu and heartfelt speech in English and Bengali to those present (transcript below video).
“If you do politics you wait for the ballot box” – Lutfur Rahman
“I just want to say this my brothers, one of ours was physically and viciously and cowardly attacked under Reardon House. That was wrong, it was cowardly.
If you do politics you wait for the ballot box.
Young brothers we have just come to let you know whoever did this is a coward and should not be inflicting violence on another individual.
All our [Aspire] candidates are doing is door knocking and trying to get your support, nothing else. Whether you support them or not is your choice.
All I say as my elders, as my brothers, please be conscious of what is happened, we have a right to campaign in this ward, tomorrow inshallah we will campaign in Wapping, please join us if you can.”
Politicians from other Tower Hamlets political parties also condemned the attack and appealed for residents to remain calm and work with the police to bring those responsible to justice.
Disgusted by behaviour of these thugs – Ohid Ahmed
“I am totally disgusted at the behaviour of these thugs,” said Aspire Party Mayoral Candidate Abul Monsur Ohid Ahmed.”My heartfelt sympathies to Abdullah Al Monsur and his family.”
No one should ever fear physical violence while campaigning – Kirsty Finlayson
“My heart goes out to any candidate who is subject to a physical attack like this. All too often, we get verbal abuse at the doorstep – some to be expected and directed at national issues, but some very personal and far too often targeted at minorities. No one should ever fear physical violence when campaigning in Tower Hamlets.
As a lawyer, I sincerely hope that the perpetrator will be brought to justice,” said Conservative candidate for St. Katharine’s and Wapping Kirsty Finlayson in a personal statement.
No room for violence – Rabina Khan
“There is no room for bullying, intimidation or violence in elections. Democracy is about a battle of ideas, discussions and debates. Let the best person win at the ballot box,” said Cllr. Rabina Khan, Mayoral Candidate, People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets (PATH).
“No party or individuals should try to intimidate or use force on opponents. If you dislike someone’s ideas or what they represent, exercise your right to vote against them on the 3rd of May.”
“I encourage everyone to let the police and authorities do their job in identifying the people involved and taking necessary action against the perpetrators.”
Totally unacceptable – Denise Jones
“An attack on a candidate is totally unacceptable and thankfully previously unheard of in Wapping. I wish Abdullah Al Mamun well and hope people involved in campaigning will keep calm and leave investigations to the police,” said Labour Party candidate for St. Katherines and Wapping ward Cllr. Denise Jones.
Shocked by attack – Stephen O’Shea
Love Wapping is in complete agreement with Lutfur Rahman – if you do politics you wait for the ballot box.
We would also like to publicly congratulate the ex-mayor for so quickly and unequivocally condemning the attack.
In June 2016 Wapping resident Jo Cox MP was murdered in broad daylight in her Batley and Spen constituency.
On Friday a cowardly attack was made on Abduallah Al Mamun, another person whose only crime was wishing to represent his community.
This type of violent behaviour in the name of politics cannot stand.
London is currently subject to a seemingly unending series of pointless murders of young people, every day Londoners wake fearful of what the next news bulletin might bring.
And now in normally peaceful Wapping a local council candidate has his head split open in an equally pointless and violent manner at the very start of an election campaign.
LW has spent all day trying to ascertain the facts of the assault on Mr. Marun.
We are aware that two Wapping residents have been identified on social media as being responsible for the attack.
Our own enquiries point to the same people. For legal reasons we cannot publish their identities.
We hope to bring you more information, particularly the official statement by the Metropolitan Police, as and when we get it.
We would also join with the politicians of Tower Hamlets in urging every resident to stay calm, to not spread rumours and to help the police to solve this crime.
As Lutfur Rahman says, if you do politics you wait for the ballot box.