At least six people, including a polling officer and four Ansar members, were shot dead in a violent gun attack in Baghaichhari of Rangamati on Monday evening.
Witnesses said a gang of criminals intercepted a vehicle carrying an election team in Noymile area and randomly fired at them, leaving six people dead.“At least nine people were also wounded in the shooting – several of them critically,” a witness said.
The injured were taken to Combined Military Hospital in Chattagram by a helicopter.
The deceased were identified as polling officer Amir Hossain, Ansar members Al Amin, Mihir Kanti Dutta, Bilkis Akhter and Jahanara Begum and pedestrian Montu Chakma.
The election team came under the attack around 6:45pm when they were returning with electoral results and materials to the returning officer’s office in Baghaichhari after completing voting at Konglak polling centre, a police officer said.
Manjurul Alam, officer-in-charge of Baghaichhari police station, said the vehicle carrying the presiding officer and his team members was escorted by armed Ansar members.
“The presiding officer left the polling station for the upazila headquarters along with ballots,” he added.Baghaichhari Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Nadeem Sarwar said the wounded were rescued and flown to Combined Military Hospital in Chattagram.
It was not clear why the election team came under the gun attack.
Former Baghaichhari Upazila Parishad Chairman Sudarshan Chakma, also an election candidate from Parbatya Chattagram Jana Sanghati Samity (MN Larma), alleged that UPDF activists might have carried out the attack.
Polls for upazila parishads in three hill districts were held with a large number of army troops deployed in the election areas.
Meanwhile, the Election Commission strongly condemned the brutal attack on the election officials and the Ansar members.
The EC expressed sympathy to the family members of the victims, said a press release.