CHATTOGRAM: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) KM Nurul Huda termed the brutal gun attack that left seven persons including two polling officials and four Ansar-VDP personnel killed in Rangamati hill district preplanned.
He also claimed that there was no lack of security measures during the election.The CEC came up with the remarks while talking to journalists after visiting the injured persons at Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Chattogram on Tuesday.
The 24th Infantry Division General Officer Commanding (GOC) SM Matiur Rahman, Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Md Abdul Mannan and Chattogram Deputy Commissioner Md Elius Hossain accompanied the CEC at that time among others.
The CEC said killing people upon the allegation of irregularities in election can’t be a way of protest.
He said that he has already directed authorities concerned to look into the matter and put the accused on trial through investigation.
“Punitive action will be taken against the accused involved with the heinous attack,” he said.
Regarding the second-phase elections of the 5th General Upazila Parishad Elections held at 116 upazilas in the country on Monday, he said though allegations of vote rigging surfaced, they were not proved.He also said that the elections in hilly upazilas were held in a fair way.
Replying to a question, he said there was no lack of security, rather the terrorists carried out the attack on election officials taking opportunity of narrow road amid escort by law enforcers.
The CEC informed that member of the law enforcement agencies also sustained injuries along with unarmed civilians in the attack.
Extending his sympathy to the victims’ family, he said the election commission will stand by them.
Sources said a total of 18 injured persons were brought to the Chattogram CMH from Rangamati by helicopter following the fatal brush fire on Monday evening. Of them, one identified as Assistant Presiding Officer Md Tayeb Ali succumbed to his injuries on the way to the CMH.
Seven of the admitted injured were shifted to the CMH in the capital for better treatment while remaining 10 were undergoing treatment in Chattogram. On the other hand, Chattogram Divisional Commissioner Abdul Mannan formed a seven-member committee to investigate the incident.
The committee headed by Additional Secretary and Local Government Division Director Dipak Chakrabartya also comprises additional district magistrate of Ramgamati as member secretary.
Other members of the committee are representatives of Chattogram Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG), BGB, Chattogram Hill Tracts Development Board, Rangamati Jila Parishad and Ansar-VDP.
The committee was asked to submit the investigation report by 10 working days, said sources.
It may be mentioned that seven people including two polling officials and four Ansar-VDP personnel, were shot dead in a violent gun attack in Baghaichhari upazila under Rangamati district on Monday.
A gang of criminals opened fire indiscriminately on vehicles carrying election teams in Noymile area leaving six people dead on the spot.
The election team came under the attack around 6:45 pm when they were returning with electoral results and materials to the returning officer’s office in Baghaichhari headquarters after completing voting.