At least seven people were killed and over 100 others injured as the second phase of the union parishad (UP) elections ended Thursday afternoon amid sporadic violence.
Of them, three people were killed in Narsingdi, two in Cumilla, and one each in Cox’s Bazar and Chattogram districts.
However, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on Thursday said that clashes were inevitable during local polls.
“There are always clashes here and there between groups…[people who take part in these polls] to establish dominance. But the law enforcers are not sitting idle,” he told reporters at the secretariat regarding the reports of deaths and violence around the country.
According to sources, in Narsingdi, three people were killed and 10 others injured in a shootout between supporters of an Awami League (AL) nominated chairman candidate an AL rebel candidate in Bashgari union, a remote char area in Raipura upazila.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (Raipura Circle) Satyajit Kumar confirmed the incident.
The deceased were identified as Salahuddin Miah, and Dulal Mia, supporters of Ashraful Islam, an AL-backed candidate for the post of Bashgari UP chairman; and one Md Jahangir.
The bodies were sent to Narsingdi district and Sadar hospitals for autopsy.
In Cox’s Bazar, a clash between the supporters of two member candidates at a polling station left one person dead, said officers of RAB-15.
The victim, Aktharuzzaman, was the brother of a member candidate contesting the elections to the Khuruskul union council in Cox’s Bazar Sadar upazila.
Witnesses said a clash erupted at the polling centre when supporters of a candidate attempted to stuff ballot boxes. Aktaruzzaman was hacked and shot during the clash.
He was taken to Cox’s Bazar Hospital, where doctors referred him to Chattogram. He died on the way to the port city.
In Cumilla, at least two people were killed and several others sustained injuries in separate clashes among supporters of rival candidates and the police in Meghna upazila.
The deceased were identified as Sanaullah Dali and Shaon.
Cumilla Additional Superintendent of Police Afzal Hossain confirmed the incident.
He said supporters of the rival candidates locked into a clash at the Khirarchar Government Primary School polling centre in Bhaorkhola union in the morning.
Sanaullah Dali was injured in the violence and later died at a local hospital.
Meanwhile, another clash broke out around 12pm between the supporters of Awami League-backed chairman candidate Zakir Hossain and independent candidate Harun-ur-Rashid.
Later, the injured were sent to Meghna upazila Health Complex where doctors declared Shaon dead.
Police have arrested Maulana Nazmul for making the announcement that instigated the attacks.
Executive Magistrate Sohel Rana said they were trying to resume voting in the centre.
Earlier in the day, clashes erupted at Ramprasaderchar Government Primary School polling centre at the same upazila’s Chaliabhanga union.
At least five people including rebel Awami League candidate pineapple symbol holder Humayun Kabir were injured.
Humayun Kabir claimed that the supporters of Awami League-nominated candidate Abdul Latif attacked his men with sticks and sharp weapons.
In Satkhira, separate incidents of clashes between the supporters and activists of the rival candidates in Baikari Union of Sadar upazila were reported. The clashes left at least 10 people injured.
In Chattogram, a businessman was killed and several people were injured at Lelang union of Fatikchhari over the UP polls.
Rabiul Islam, officer-in-charge of Fatikchhari police station, said the clash broke out between the supporters of two member candidates in Gopalghata Anandabazar area during the voting, leaving Md Shafi dead.
In Gopalganj, voting to Kashiani union has been suspended on allegations of polling centre occupation and ballot stuffing by Awami League-backed candidate BM Harun-ur-Rashid.
Two policemen were reportedly attacked when they tried to enforce law and order at Ratail union parishad polling centre, said Presiding Officer Selim Sarder.
He said: “Harun and his large number of supporters occupied the polling centre around 12 noon and began stuffing ballots. At that time police came under attack.”
Subsequently, voting was suspended, he added.