Opposition men assaulted, voting suspended for over one hour
Ruling Awami League activists on Saturday vandalised a polling centre and assaulted several opposition men including a former BNP lawmaker during city corporation elections in Barisal.
Witnesses said the supporters of AL-led 14-party-backed candidate Shawkat Hossain Hiron carried out vandalism around 2:00pm at Ziabaji Govt Primary School polling centre in Ward No. 30 in the presence of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel.
The rampaging activists snatched away ballot papers from the presiding officer, stamped them and put them in ballot boxes, says our photographer who witnessed the event.
They also vandalised barricades set up to maintain discipline of the polling centre.
Hiron was present at the spot during the incident, the witnesses said.
In another incident, AL activists physically assaulted Abul Hossain, ex-lawmaker from Barisal-4 constituency, and another BNP supporter at Rupatoli Govt High School centre around 1:40pm.
The incident occurred when Hossain tried to gain unauthorised access into the polling centre.
Hiron’s supporters engaged in a brief scuffle with the former BNP lawmaker.
Mayoral candidate Hiron, who was present at the spot, slapped BNP supporter Mahmudul following the altercation.
Upon hearing the news, BNP-backed candidate Ahsan Habib Kamal rushed there, after which heated words were exchanged between the two candidates.
Law enforcers including police, Rab and BGB brought the situation under control.
Polls were suspended for 1.10 hours following the incident, and resumed at 2:50pm.
The activists of Sramik League, labour wing of the AL, led by its Barisal unit President Aftab Hossain assaulted several BNP activists at a polling centre in Ward No. 18 of Kashipur union.
As journalists tried to take photos of the unruly actions, Aftab chased them away, threatening them with dire consequences if any photos of the incident were published in the media.
On information, BNP’s MP Mojibor Rahman Sarwar visited the spot.
“The election is not being fair. Many of our leaders and activists were assaulted and threatened in many places,” he told reporters.
JUBO DAL MEN BEATEN
Activists of Bangladesh Chhatra League, student-wing of the ruling party, assaulted two Jubo Dal leaders at Kaunia Girls High School centre in Ward No. 2.
The situation came under control after MP Sarwar reached the spot, reports our correspondent.
Source: The Daily Star