Women queue to cast her votes in Sabdarkhan Govt Primary School Polling Centre of Chandpur Sadar upazila amid festive mood on the second phase of upazila elections on Thursday. Photo: Star
The second phase voting to 115 upazilas of the country is going on today amid some stray violence like clash, temporary suspension of voting, allegation of vote rigging, snatching of police firearm, suspension of polling officer and attack on voters and police.
Violence was reported from Chittagong, Chandpur, Barisal, Magura, Meherpur, Gopalganj and Kushtia.
Voting in six polling centres in Matlab South upazila of Chandpur remained suspended for hours, reports our district correspondent.
Meanwhile, the BNP-backed chairman of Matlab north upazila claimed that the ruling Awami League supporters have driven out his agents from 85 polling centres.
At least five voters were injured, one critically, as miscreants hurled crude bombs on their way to a polling centre in Gangni upazila of Meherpur. Meanwhile, a policeman was injured as voters attack the law enforcers while they were trying to resist them from entering a voting centre en masse.
On the other hand, BNP city unit of Barisal boycotted the polls and called a dawn-to-dusk hartal for Sunday in Barisal city and Sadar upazila protesting what it termed as vote rigging by ruling party men.
In another development, a firearm of police went missing from a polling centre in Shalikha upazila of Magura when the law enforcers fell asleep early today.
In the meantime, at least 10 people including two members of law enforcing agencies were injured as the supporters of Awami League-and BNP-backed candidates clashed in Gangni upazila of Meherpur.
The voting that started at 8:00am will continue till 4:00pm without any break.
More than 1.94 crore voters of 115 upazilas in 52 districts are exercising their voting rights during the second phase of the upazila elections.
A total of 500 aspirants are contesting for chairmen, 506 for vice chairmen, and 334 for vice chairwomen in 115 upazilas.
After securing a comfortable position in the first-phase upazila polls held on February 19, the BNP is expecting to ride the winning wave in the second-phase also.
Voting at Matlab Degree College Polling Centre in Matlab South upazila remained suspended for one and a half hours since 9:30am while the supporters of AL-backed candidate allegedly rigged votes, witnesses and BNP-supported candidates alleged.
Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shafiqur Rahman said they suspended the polling centre temporarily due to some untoward incidents.
Election officials suspended the voting at Char Mukundi Govt Primary School and Baishpur Govt Primary School polling centres in the same upazila respectively for over an hour till 10:30am, reports our Chandpur corresponded.
Many voters alleged that the voting was suspended due to rigging by ruling men.
The polling officials also temporarily suspended two more voting centres in the upazila, locals said.
But The Daily Star could not verify the incidents.
In Matlab north upazila, authorities also suspended Nayergari Govt Primary School polling centre from 12:00pm after ruling party men rigged votes there, locals said.
UNO Shafiqur Rahman said they sent army personnel there to look into the incident.
The polling centre was remained suspended till 1:42pm when the report was filed.
BNP-backed chairman candidate in the upazila claimed that the AL supporters have driven out their agents from 85 polling centres in the upazila.
The clash between AL men and BNP supporters ensued around 12:00pm following altercation between both the rival groups when the supporters of BNP-blessed candidate tried to convince a voter in their favour, said Masudul Alam, officer-in-charge of Gangni Police Station.
Police constable Robiul Islam and Ansar Battalion member Manjarul sustained injuries when they tried to settle the matter. Eight more people of both the camps were also injured in the incident.