Authorities have suspended voting at fourteen centres in Sirajganj and Kurigram over the allegations of vote rigging, ballot paper snatching and other irregularities.
Three election officials were detained for their alleged involvement with “irregularities” at the centre of Sirajganj, our local correspondents report.
In Sirajganj, voting was suspended at Mahmudpur Govt Primary School in Sadar in the early hours after allegations of irregularities surfaced, our Pabna correspondent reports quoting returning officer of Sirajganj Md Abul Hossain.
The three arrested election officials are Presiding Officer Anwar Hossain, Assistant Presiding Officers Belal Hossain and Abdul Alim, the returning officer said.
In Kurigram, returning officer suspended voting at Hokodanga Govt Primary School in Ulipur upazila around 9:05am over allegations of ballot snatching, our district correspondent reports quoting Presiding Officer Abu Bokkor Siddique.
Voting was also suspended at Madinatul Ulum Senior Madrasa of the upazila at 10:05am and Kisamat Maltibari Government Primary School around 12:30pm, presiding officers told reporters.
Motiur Rahman, presiding officer of Hatiya Government Primary School, said they suspended the voting at the centre around 11:30am following a clash between supporters of two chairman candidates.
At Nageshwari upazila's Kutinaudanga Forkania Ebtedayee Madrasha centre, voting was suspended due to ballot paper snatching at 10:40am, said Presiding Officer Sadekur Rahman.
Voting at Purba Koyra Bhanga Government Primary School in Nageshwari upazila's was also postponed around 1:20pm over the allegation of ballot stuffing, said Presiding Officer Mahfuzur Rahman.
In Sadar upazila, a person allegedly snatched around 100 ballot papers and stuffed a ballot box at Shibram Govt Primary School centre. Voting was suspended there at 11:40am, Presiding Officer Mosafizur Rahman said.
Besides, authorities suspended voting at Kurigram Government College around 2:00pm, Malbhangi Govrnment Primary School in the same upazila around 12:30pm and Tongairhat Government Primary School around 3:00pm over the allegation of ballot box stuffing, said polling officers.
In Chilmari upazila, voting was suspended at Khaleda Shawkat Patwary Government Primary School after authorities found instances of ballot stuffing at the polling centre around 12:00pm, our Kurigram correspondent reports quoting Upazila Nirbahi Officer Shah Mohammad Shamshuzzaman.
Voting also suspended at Boil Bandiarkhata Government Primary School around 3:00pm over similar allegation.
In Rowmari upazila, voting was suspended at Dhonarchar Government Primary School voting centre around 10:45am for the same reason, the correspondent reports quoting Dipankar Ray.
While addressing a press briefing at the Nirbachon Bhaban yesterday, Election Commission Additional Secretary Moklesur Rahman said all preparations were over for holding the election in a free and fair manner.
He warned of actions against any kind of negligence of duty by the law enforcers and election officials.
The first phase of elections to 78 Upazila Parishads in 12 districts began this morning.
The voting started at 8:00am and will continue till 4:00pm without any break.
Over 1.42 crore people are expected to cast their votes at 5,847 centres in the first phase today.
VOTING HALTED IN 2 CENTRES OF HABIGANJ
Authorities have halted voting at two centres in Habiganj after alleged miscreants tried to take control and create chaos at the centres around noon, our Moulvibazar correspondent reports.
Some 30-40 followers of Awami League attacked Poschimbag Govt Primary School centre around 12noon, said Additional Police Super (Baniachang Circle) Soilen Chakma.
Voting in this centre did not resume till 2:40pm, Presiding Officer Mohitosh Sutrodhar said.
In Baniachang, voting was halted at Shahpur centre after a clash, district Returning Officer Nazim Uddin said.
Police took necessary action to stop the clash in which six including a police official got injured, officer-in-charge of Baniachang Police Station Md Rashed Mubarark said.