Dhaka, Bangladesh
16 killed in poll violence

16 killed in poll violence

AL-BNP clashes marpolling in some places

News Report Outbreaks of violence in different parts of the country between rival groups over Sunday’s polls left 16 people dead. Reports reaching The News Today newsroom cited allegations of irregularities, including overnight stuffing of ballot boxes and the capturing of some polling stations, which led the Election Commission to postpone the polling in 22 centres. The voting in the capital was, however, almost peaceful seemingly as, spot accounts said, there were hardly any agent or election camp was found in many centres. Asked why the main opposition candidates’ agents were not being found, a number of polling officers said, “They didn’t turn up since the voting began, for reasons not known.” Main opposition-party BNP in a press briefing said their polling agents were ‘driven away’ or forbidden from getting in many centres. The former ruling party, which joined this general election on the back of Jatiya Oikya Front by breaking a prolonged boycott, put the number of constituencies where their agents were obstructed at 221. The deaths in poll violence were reported from Noakhali, Chattogram, Rajshahi, Rangamati, Cumilla, Tangail, Natore, Narsingdi, Bogura, Brahmanbaria, Cox’s Bazar, Gazipur and Sylhet districts. In Noakhali, Nurun Nabi, an Ansar member, was shot dead by some miscreants at Tulachara Primary School polling station in Noakhali-3 constituency, said presiding officer Prof Dr Suchon Chowdhury. An activist of Jatiya Party, Ahmed Kabir, 45, was killed in a clash between Awami League and JP activists in Banskhali upazila of Chattogram early in the morning. In Rangamati, Bashir Uddin, general secretary of Kashkhali union Juba League, was killed in an attack allegedly by some BNP activists in the union in Kaukhali upazila in the morning. In Cumilla, Bachchu Mia, 35, a resident of Sundial village in Nangalkot upazila, was killed in a clash between the supporters of AL and BNP in the morning, said district police special branch sub-inspector Mahbub Morshed. Besides, a rickshaw-puller, Muzibur Rahman, 35, of Muradnagar village in the upazila, was killed in a clash between ruling Awami League and BNP men at Paschim Belashwar village in Chandina upazila. Two casualties in election-related violence were reported from Rajshahi. Merajul Islam, 30, an Awami League supporter, was killed in a clash between BNP and AL men in Pakuria Government High School centre in Jahanabad union of Mohanpur upazila around 11am over the capturing of a polling centre of Rajshahi-3 constituency, said Rajshahi district police superintendent Shahidullah. Besides, Modasser Ali, 40, organising secretary of Awami League No-8 ward in Panchandar union of Tanore upazila, was killed in a clash between BNP and Awami League men over a bid for capturing Mohammadpur High School polling station of Rajshahi-1 constituency, said officer-in-charge Rezaul Islam of Tanore Police Station. In Tangail, police recovered the body of BNP ward- unit president Abdul Aziz, 65, who remained missing since Saturday from Nagda Shimla area in Gopalpur upazila. Hussain Ali, an Awami League supporter, was stabbed to death by his nephew Ratan Fakir following an altercation over casting vote at Samskholsi village in Naldanga upazila of Natore. In Narsingdi, Milon Miah, 35, an Awami League polling agent, was hacked and slaughtered allegedly by supporters of rival (independent) candidate at Kundarpara Primary School centre of Shibpur of Narsingdi-3 constituency around 12:30pm, said Abul Kalam Azad, officer-in-charge of Shibpur Police Station. Awami League activist Azizul Islam, 30, was killed and five others were injured in a clash between AL and BNP activists at Bagil polling station in Kahalu upazila of Bogura around 11:3am over the capturing of a polling station, said Paikor Union Parishad Chairman Mitu Chowdhury. In Brahmanbaria, Israil, 19, son of Sayedul Islam of Rajghar village in Sadar upazila, was shot dead and three others suffered bullet wounds ‘in police firing’ during a clash between supporters of AL and BNP at Rajghar Government Primary School polling centre of Brahmanbaria-3 constituency. A Cox’s Bazar clash between BNP and AL men at Rajakhali Government Primary School polling station of Cox’s Bazar-1 constituency around 10am left one dead. He was identified as Abdullah Al Faruque, 25, son of Abul Kalam of Rajakhali union in Pekua upazila. In Gazipur, Liakat Hossain, an Awami League leader and former Vice-President of Kazi Azimuddin College Sangsad, was stabbed to death at Harinal in the city. Quoting Liakat’s brother Ershad Hossain, officer-in- charge of Sadar Police Station Samir Sutra Dhar said the local activists of Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal and Juba Dal stabbed Liakat indiscriminately at a polling centre around 2:30 pm, leaving him critically injured. “He was taken to Shaheed Tajuddin Ahmad Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead,’’ the OC said. In Sylhet, a local JCD leader was shot to death during a clash over a bid for occupying Azizpur Government Primary School polling centre in Balaganj upazila. The deceased was identified as Sayem Ahmed Sohel, general secretary of JCD upazila unit. Quoting witnesses, Mahbubul Alam, Sub-inspector of Balaganj Police Station, said, “A group of people swooped on the polling centre around 3:50pm and tried to capture it. As the rival party obstructed them, a clash broke out. At one stage, Sohel suffered bullet wounds and died on the spot.” A voter died during tension between supporters of Awami League and BNP at Sohogram Government Primary School centre under Dinajpur-2 around 12noon. The victim was Kina Mohammad, 65. He fell between a chase and counter-chase and died of cardiac arrest. In the capital, BNP candidate for Dhaka-4 constituency Md Salahuddin Ahmed was stabbed allegedly by ruling-party activists when he went to cast his vote at Shyampur Model High School centre in the morning. Meanwhile, 25 Jatiya Oikya Front candidates and one independent contestant announced boycott of the election halfway through, citing alleged irregularities like “rigging”, “booth capturing” and “obstructing voters” by ruling-party supporters. Inputs taken from media reports, UNB

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