Reports of election violence, ballot snatching and vote rigging came in from Sylhet during the city corporation elections there today.
A magistrate was hurt while he was passing through a fight of two groups in Kumarpara around 1:30pm, our local staff correspondent reports.
Proloy Kumar Saha, assistant returning officer, confirmed the injury of Executive Magistrate Motiur Rahman – hurt when his car was passing through a fight of two councillor groups.
At Kazi Jalaluddin Bohumukhi High School, Ward 18, police fired blank shots to cub BNP activists, posing as men of ruling Awami League, stamping ballots for paddy and sheaf.
Voting was halted for about an hour since 11:00am.
Voting was suspended for about 30 minutes at Khasdobir Government Primary School as accusations of ballot stuffing rose against Awami League’s mayor runner Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran.
Kamran’s supporters allegedly drove all agents, voters and presiding officers from the booths and rigged votes, Rasel Miah, an agent of BNP candidate, told reporters.
Presiding officer of the centre, Mohammad Saiful confirmed that Kamran was at the centre.
Ruling party men also were believed to have locked in clashes with law enforcers at Shahjalal Jamia Islamia Kamil Madrasah.
Our local correspondent reports from Shahjalal Jamia Islamia Kamil Madrasah, suspected supporters of the ruling party were casting fake votes.
Witnesses at the polling centres also brought allegations of vote rigging at the centre.
Police chased at them, resulting in a clash and suspension of voting at two of the three booths at the voting centre. Two people were detained at the spot.
Voting was also suspended at Khasdobir Government Primary School for half an hour after Awami League men allegedly snatched ballot papers in presence of AL mayor candidate Badar Uddin Ahmed Kamran.
Kamran entered at a booth of the polling station while his supporters stormed into two other booths of the polling station, said the witnesses.
The supporters allegedly drove all the agents, voters and presiding officers from the booths and rigged votes, Rasel Miah, an agent of BNP candidate Ariful Haque Chowdhury, told reporters.
Presiding office Saiful at the polling centre confessed that AL candidate Kamran visited the centre. He however did not comment on the vote rigging.
BSD urges suspension of polls in Sylhet
Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Bangladesh Samajtantrik Dal (BSD) nominated mayoral candidate in Sylhet City Corporation elections Md Abu Jafar (CPB-BSD) has submitted a written application to the returning officer drawing attention to widespread vote rigging and manipulation.
Abu Jafar also urged the returning officer to suspend the polls as it will not be acceptable due to rigging.