Polling centres occupied, ballot papers seized and burnt in presence of police

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Mass instances of election rigging were observed at various polling centres of Dhaka North and Dhaka South; election centres were illegally occupied and taken over, ballot papers were burnt, weapons were openly brandished and attacks were carried out at polling centres throughout the election areas.

In Dhaka South, six voting centres in areas including Jatrabari, Motijheel, Tikatuli and Paltan were taken over by Juboleague cadres, who were seen stuffing the ballot boxes. No voters were observed to enter these polling centres in midst of the incidents. Security personnel police, RAB, BGB and Ansar were seen standing idly by as the the electoral offences and violations occurred in front of their own eyes.

At 9 am, local Juboleague cadres, about a 100, forced out all those present at Power Development Board High School voting station at Jatrabari. They were led by 50 no. ward Juboleague leader Harun; all men were donning the blue colored fish emblem of the Awami League backed candidate. They were seen seizing ballot paper books from the assistant election presiding officer, and putting seal upon them till 10 am in the morning.

At 10:15 am in the morning, the local Awami league cadres also seized the Muradnagar High School voting centre at Jatrabari, where they blocked the road and began stamping ballot papers at will. The police suddenly sprang into action at about 10:30 am when a team of foreign observers appeared at the polling centre. Police blew whistles to clear away the Awami League men befoe letting the observer team inside.

At the same time, Samirunnesa voting center and Muradpur Madrassah centre, both located beside the above centre, witnessed Awami League men stamping ballot papers at will.

At Dhaka South, all polling agents were forced out of Sher-e-Bangla High School centre at Tikatuli by Juboleague cadres led by A Juboleague leader Polash from Jatrabari. When asked about what they were doing, he replied, “Nobody is there to hamper us. I have forced out everybody from here. This is our area.  We will stamp as many votes as required.”

The most notorious polling centre was Paltan Girls High School. Juboleague cadres took possession of ballot paper books in front of journalists and started stamping them in public view. After completing the job, they were seen depositing them all into the ballot boxes.

On the other hand, at Sher-e-Bangla Railway High School centre in Kamalapur, two groups of Awami League were seen fighting each other in the presence of the police. The armed skirmishes saw ballot paper seizing, attacks, fighting and finally setting fire onto the ballot papers. Voting was stopped in the centre.

All the above incidents occurred in front of the security personnel. Police were seen acting as silent bystanders to the incidents that occurred in front of them.

Source: Sheershanews