Moniruzzaman Mony, Khulna
With the exception of the death of a jute mill worker, allegedly in police action, election to Khulna City Corporation yesterday was peaceful with enthusiastic voters queuing up at polling centres in their thousands.
Tea-stall owner Ruhul Amin, for example, kept his shop at Iqbalnagar Mosque Road area closed all day so that he could cast his vote and take in the atmosphere.
"An election day comes after five years. So, I want to enjoy the day … ,” he told The Daily Star at city's Iqbalnagar Secondary Girls High School polling centre.
It was a festival for the city. At dozens of voting centres, voters were seen standing in long queues. They cast their votes peacefully.
Casting their votes, three mayoral candidates -- ruling alliance-backed Talukder Abdul Khaleque, opposition alliance-backed Moniruzzaman Mony and Jatiya Party-backed Shafiqul Islam Modhu -- told reporters that voting was going on peacefully and fairly.
However, after the polling was done, Mozibar Rahman, chief electoral agent for JP-backed Modhu, told The Daily Star that the administration was biased and that it took no action though supporters of two rival candidates were violating electoral code of conduct.
Meanwhile, the death of Shah Alam Sarder, 45, caused worry among some voters.
Alam, an employee of Crescent Jute Mills at city's Khalishpur, died around 11:30am following “law enforcers' action on a procession” brought out by activists of Islami Andolan Bangladesh at Crescent Jute Mills area around 9:30am.
Activists of Islami Andolan Bangladesh claimed that Alam died due to police beating at People's Rail Gate area.
Wahiduzzaman, senior assistant superintendent of police, said, "None made such allegations against them." Police admitted to chasing the demonstrators away.
Alam's elder son Md Al Amin said, "After the police action my father returned home and said he was feeling sick. We took him to three hospitals."
First, he was taken to the healthcare department of the jute mill, where he was given painkillers for chest pain. He was then rushed to Khalishpur Clinic and then to Gazi Medical College and Hospital.
Doctor Syed Taherul Islam of Khalishpur Clinic told The Daily Star, "I received him alive and found problems in his heart. I referred him to Gazi Medical College and Hospital. I think he might have died of cardiac arrest."
Gazi Mizanur Rahman, owner of Gazi Medical College and Hospital, said, "I received him dead."
Talking to reporters, BNP-backed mayor aspirant Moniruzzaman Mony blamed law enforcers for Alam's death.