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2nd-phase UP polls marred by violence; 6 killed

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 11th November, 2021 12:03:51 PM
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At least six people were killed and scores of others injured as the second phase of union parishad elections was marred by violence and various irregularities on Thursday.

Voting in the polls in 834 union parishads began at 8:00am and continued till 4:00pm without a break.

Supporters of chairman and member candidates -- mostly of Awami League and its rebels -- engaged in fierce clashes during the voting.

The polls violence left at least three people dead in Narsingdi and one each in Cox’s Bazar, Chattogram and Cumilla.

Meanwhile, Election Commission (EC) Secretary Humayun Kabir Khandaker claimed that none of the deceased died in any polling centre. “They died after chases and counter-chases between the supporters of rival candidates,” he said.

He, however, said the commission is sorry for the deaths. “We never want a citizen of the country to be killed for any reason,” he said.

They came to know that the election in 834 UPs was held amid a festivity, the EC secretary said, adding that around 65-70 percent votes were cast in the polls.

Candidates from the ruling party, Jatiya Party and some other political parties participated in the polls.

Although Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) stayed off the race, its leaders and activists joined the polls as independent candidates.

Following widespread violence and irregularities, the Election Commission postponed voting in 10 polling centres, out of total 8,492.

In Narsingdi, at least three people were killed during a fierce clash between followers of an Awami League candidate and independent runner in Raipura upazila.

The deceased were identified as Dulal Mia, 40, son of Siraj Mia of Batolikandi village under Bashgari union, Salauddin Mia, 30, son of Hekim Mia of Baluakandi village in the union and Jahangir, 26, son of Abdul Haque Mia of Sobahanpur village.

The clash took place between the supporters of AL chairman candidate Arshaful Haque and independent contestant Ratul Hasan around 6:00am, two hours before the start of the voting.

In Cox’s Bazar, a man was killed and 10 people were injured during a clash between two member candidates in Khurushkul union parishad election in Sadar upazila.

The deceased is Akhtaruzzaman Putu, 35, of Guillabaperpara area in the upazila.

Three policemen were also injured in the clash that occurred at Tetaiya Govt Primary School centre under ward-1 around 12:30pm, said locals.

In Chattogram, a man was killed in a clash between the followers of two member candidates at Lelang union under Fatikchhari upazila.

The deceased was identified as Md Shafi, 55. He was stabbed to death during the clash at ward-8 under the union around 2:00pm.

Police arrested one Mahbubul Alam in the connection with the clash.

In Cumilla, a person was killed and 13 people were injured, three with bullets, in a clash at Amirabad centre under Manikar Char union.

The deceased is Shawon Ahmed, 25, son of Mobarak Hossain of Bollerverkandi village in the district.

Crude bombs were exploded amid gunshots during a clash between the supporters of two chairman candidates in a union in Kalkini upazila of Madaripur district.

There were allegations of stuffing ballot boxes in Shialkol union in Sirajganj Sadar upazila.

Three policemen were injured during a clash that took place over capturing a polling centre in Dhamgar union in Bandar upazila of Narayanganj.

Two people sustained injuries when a member candidate and his followers were trying to take control of a polling centre in Chargazi union in Ramgati upazila of Lakshmipur in the early hours.

In Manikganj, police arrested 18 people for trying to capture polling centres at Jamsa union in Singair upazila.

In Thakurgaon, a union parishad member candidate went missing in Haripur upazila on Tuesday afternoon, two days before the UP polls.

Missing Abdul Hakim, 48, was a member candidate from ward-5 under Amgaon union.

His family members lodged a general diary (GD) with Haripur Police Station on Wednesday.

As many as 22 law enforcers were deployed in each of the polling stations to avoid any untoward incident. Executive magistrates were also in the field to oversee the voting process.

A total of 3,310 candidates contested the polls for chairman posts while 9,161 runners for the reserved member posts for women and 28,747 for member posts in the second phase of the UP elections.

Of the total, voting in 20 union parishads was held using electronic voting machines.

A total of 364 union parishads went to polls in the first phase.

The third-phase polls will be held in 1,003 union parishads on November 28 while the fourth phase in 840 Ups on December 23.