21 killed in poll violence

At least 21 people have been killed in violence and police action on Sunday in what might be Bangladesh's bloodiest election in recent memory.

News Deskbdnews24.com
Published : 5 Jan 2014, 02:12 PM
Updated : 5 Jan 2014, 05:15 PM

Polls for 147 parliament constituencies were held on Sunday since the remaining 153 have already returned winners without a contest.

According to police and witnesses, the deaths were reported from 13 districts before and during voting on Sunday.

The districts rocked by violence are Chittagong, Rangpur, Nilphamari, Feni, Dinajpur, Naogaon, Thakurgaon, Lalmonirhat, Lakshimpur, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Gaibandha and Jessore.

Chittagong

Police said an Islami Chhatra Shibir activist was killed when security forces opened fire to resist a group of people trying to snatch ballot boxes from a polling centre at Lohagara Upazila in Chittagong on Sunday afternoon.

Lohagara Police Station OC Md Shahjahan told bdnews24.com that Shibir activists attacked Bhabanipur centre and tried to take away the ballot boxes around 3:30pm.

The Shibir activist died on the spot when the forces opened fire.

Police, however, could not provide identity of the youth killed.

Nilphamari

Two activists of Jamaat-e-Islami were killed in clashes with the police at Dimla and Jaldhaka Upazila in the district.

Jaldhaka Police Station OC Moniruzzman said Jamaat and Shibir men swooped down on Balapara Primary School centre around 10:15am.

They were engaged by the law-keepers, he said.

Jamaat activist Momtajuddin Ahmed, 50, was killed in the firing.

Dimla Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) Abu Rafa Md Arif said Jamaat member Jahangir Alam, 35, died when police fired on attackers who tried to seize Baparitala Alia Madrasa polling centre at around 3am.

Feni

A clash between anti-election activists and police left two activists of pro-BNP Jubo Dal and Chhatra Dal dead at Sonagazi Upazila in Feni.

Feni Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Shamsul Alam said the clash erupted when activists of the BNP and its front organisations attacked Uttar Char Chandia polling centre at around 10:30 am.

He said two police personnel were injured in a bomb attack forcing them to fire in retaliation.

According to Alam, 12 people were hit by bullets and Jubo Dal activist Jamshed Alam and Chhatra Dal man Shahidullah of them died in the hospital.

Dinajpur

A Jatiya Ganatantrik Party (Jagpa) activist, a BNP man and an Ansar personnel were killed in clashes following attacks on poll centres at Parbatipur Upazila in the district.

Witnesses said leaders and activists of the BNP-led 18-Party Alliance were locked in a clash with security forces at Monmothpur Cooperative High School centre at around 11 am.

Jagpa Parbatipur Upazila unit committee General Secretary Raihan Masud, 22, was killed in the clash. He was the son of Golam Rasul of Dangapara village.

BNP activist ‘Chunnu’, hailing from the same village, was killed in another clash between supporters of the Opposition and ruling Awami League.

Earlier, Ansar member Wahed Ali died in an attack by miscreants at Shalandar Primary School centre at around 11 am. Another six people, including the Presiding Officer of the centre, were also injured in the attack.

Thakurgaon

At least four people were killed in clashes in the district during the voting.

Police Superintendent Faisal Mahmud said security forces opened fire when strikers tried to snatch ballot boxes from Basudevpur polling centre at around 2 pm.

According to police, Joynal Abedin, 35, and ‘Faruk’, 28, died in the firing. Eight others were also injured, one critically.

Another clash erupted between anti- and pro-election activists at Deuniabazar Gopalpur Primary School centre leaving two people killed. Those dead were identified as Md Hanif, 24, and Lufor Rahman, 40.

Naogaon

A BNP supporter was killed when law enforcers fired at a group of people obstructing voters from going to polling centre at Manda Upazila.

BNP Upazila unit President Mokhlesur Rahman identified the dead as Babul Hossain, 35.

Malda Police Station OC Abdullahel Baki said security forces were compelled to shoot as tension erupted between the anti-polls activists and Awami League supporters over the obstruction.

Rajshahi Medical College and Hospital Police Post Sub-Inspector Uttam Kumar said bullet-hit five people, including Babul, were admitted to the hospital where he died at around 2:24pm.

Lakshimpur

A clash between supporters of the 18-Party Alliance and police left an Islami Chhatra Shibir activist dead at Ramganj Upazila in the district.

Masumpur High School polling centre Presiding Officer Zakir Hossain Munshi said the alliance activists attacked the centre at around 12:30 pm. “At one stage, police opened fire. Later, we fled the centre.”

BNP Upazila unit General Secretary Mahbubur Rahman Bahar identified the deceased as a Shibir member.

Lakshimpur ASP Shariful Islam said several other people, including a police Sub-Inspector, were injured in the incident.

Munshiganj

A local Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader drowned when chased by police for carrying a bomb attack at a centre in Tongibari Upazila, he jumped into a pond.

Upazila Assistant Returning Officer Nasrin Parvin said the incident happened at Kathadia-Shimulia Primary School centre just before 8am.

Upazila Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal President Shamim Molla said the deceased, Kankan Mia, was the organisation’s Kathadia-Shimulia unit Joint Secretary.

Gaibandha

A Shibir man was killed in a clash with the Awami League activists at Sundarganj Upazila in the afternoon.

Bamundanga Investigation Centre Sub-Inspector Raja Mia told bdnews24.com that the clash ensued when Jamaat and Shibir supporters tried to attack the Monmoth Primary School centre at around 1:30 pm.

He said Shibir activist Shahabur Islam Tara, 28, died on the spot while 21 others were injured.

Jessore

A clash between Jamaat activists and police left one member of the party dead at Monirampur Upazila in the district.

The dead was named as Matiar Rahman, 18.

Police said the clash erupted when the Jamaat men attacked Bajitpur polling centre at around 2pm.

Rangpur

Two people were killed in a clash between Jamaat supporters and police at Peergachha Upazila in the early hours of Sunday.

Peergachha Police Station OC Moqbul Hossain said law enforcers opened fire when the Jamaat men tried to take over Deuti School and College centre at around 3am.

He identified the dead as Mirajul Islam, 35, and Hadiuzzman, 14.

Lalmonirhat

A local leader of Jatiyatabdi Swechchhasebok Dal was killed in a clash between the BNP and Awami League at Patgram Upazila in the district.

Faruk Hossain, 34, was the President of a ward-level committee of the organisation.

He was injured in the clash on Saturday and succumbed to his injuries at Rangpur Medical College and Hospital on Sunday morning.

Gazipur

A truck driver burned in a petrol bomb attack on his vehicle on Saturday at Gazipur died at Dhaka Medical College and Hospital on Sunday.

DMCH Police Post Inspector Mozammel Haq said he died at around 4am.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher