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One killed in police firing

Clashes mark 2nd phase of UZ polls: Voting suspended in 153 centers

By STAFF REPORTER
28th-Feb-2014       
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At least one person was killed and score others were injured in clashes and violence during the second phase of the Upazila election on Thursday. The polling was suspended in 153 centres due to vote rigging, snatching of ballot papers and driving away polling agents of the BNP-backed candidates. The person killed in police action was identified as Saddam Hossain, 18, a Jamaat activist. He is son of Jahangir Hossain of Andirpar village of Deuti Union of Sonaimuri upazila in Noakhali. He was killed during a clash between the BNP-Jamaatmen and the ruling party men at the Nandiaparha Birsrestha Ruhul Amin Degree College centre in the upazila at noon. Police opened fire that left the person killed. A rebel candidate of the AL was also hit by bullet. Of the suspended poling centres, 117 in Noakhali Sadar, 3 in Sonaimurhi in Noakhali, 11 in Barisal, 8 in Chandpur, 2 in Feni Sadar, 1 in Tarash upazila in Sirajganj, 2 in Dhaka's Savar and 1 in Keraniganj, 1 in Balaganj of Sylhet, 2 in Laksam of Comilla and 1 in Monohorganj, 1 in Fakirhat of Bagerhat and 3 in Jamalpur.  Thursday's polls were held in 115 upazilas in 52 districts. Earlier, voting in two upazilas-- Maheshkhali of Cox's Bazar and Hymercahr of Chandpur-- were postponed. The Election Commission deferred the polls of Maheshkahli to March 1 due to a religious festival of the Hindu community while the Supreme Court suspended the polls of Hymerchar on delimitation complexities just hours before beginning of the voting.Violence was also reported from different upazilas, including Chandpur, Barisal, Meherpur, Jessore, Magura, Barisal, Bhola, Bagerhat, Natore, Munshiganj and Chittagong. In Noakhali, the EC suspended polling in Sadar upazila following violence in at least 10 centres of the upazila. Several people were injured in clashes in some areas of the upazila. In Srinagar Upazila under Munshiganj, the car of a magistrate came under attack of the agitated people  at Kolapara High school centre as their votes were cast by supporters  of the ruling party  backed candidate. They said their votes had been cast by AL backed men. The car was damaged in the incident. In Chandpur, voting in six polling centres in Matlab North upazila, including Matlab Degree College, Char Mukundi Govt Primary School and Baishpur Govt Primary School centres, remained suspended for hours due to vote rigging by the ruling party men. Army personnel were sent there to look into the incident. BNP-backed chairman candidate claimed that the AL supporters drove out their agents from 85 polling centres in the upazila.In Meherpur, a clash between the AL men and the BNP supporters ensued in Gangni upazila at noon. Eight persons, including two policemen, were injured in the incident in the morning. Miscreants hurled crude bombs on their way to a polling centre in the upazila. Meanwhile, a policeman was injured when they resisted some ruling party men from capturing a booth. In Bagerhat, BGB arrested AL-backed candidate Sarder Neyamat Hossain and four others from the Satshoiya Primary School centre in Fakirhat upazila on charge of resistance of the voters from casting their votes. The AL men clashed with law enforcers following the arrest of the candidate. In Natore, a fake polling officer- Kazi Md Abu Bakar Siddique- of Tebaria Primary School centre in Sadar upazila was jailed for six months. A mobile court delivered the sentence, as he became polling officer on the basis of fake information. The court also jailed four others at Lalpur in the upazila. Police also arrested three people from the area.In Magura, a firearm of police went missing from the Gorra High School centre in Shalikha upazila of the district when the law enforcers fell asleep in early hours. They were suspended for the incident. SP of Magura and other high officials visited the spot.  In Jessore, voting was suspended in at least six centres in the district. The BNP backed candidate at Chowgachha upazila was injured in a clash between his supporters and the supporters of the AL-backed candidate. Journalists were also injured in the clash at the Chowgachha Primary School centre, where voting has been suspended. Another clash erupted at the Chowgachha Primary School centre in the upazila. AL men beat up BNP backed candidate Jahirul Islam in the centre. Polling was suspended at five voting centres at Jhhikargachha upazila of the district. Supporters of the ruling party backed candidate tried to snatch away ballot papers and election materials from the Kayemkola High School and Kayemakola Primary School polling centres. In Cox's Bazar, supporters of AL-backed candidate captured five centres in Chakria upazila just minutes after beginning of the voting.  Some supporters of the BNP-backed candidates were injured in the centres following the attack by the ruling party men.

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