DHAKA: At least eight persons have been killed and several others injured in the past 24 hours in clashes during local council elections in Bangladesh amidst reports of irregularities and rigging in the polls held for the first time on party lines.
In the fourth phase yesterday, elections were held in 703 Union Parishads. Since the announcement of schedules on February 11, at least 70 people have been killed in polls-related violence until Friday.
The election to the smallest tier of local government is being held for the first time on party lines. The last phase will be held on June 4, media reported.
One person died and at least 30 others were injured during a clash between supporters of Awami League’s rebel candidate and law enforcers at Dhaperhat of Sadullapur in Gaibandha. Two persons died and at least 10 others were injured when supporters of the Awami League candidate clashed with supporters of the party s rebel candidate in Rajshahi s Bagmara.
Deputy Inspector General of Police M Khurshid Hasan said Awami League activist Siddikur Rahman was shot dead while an unidentified person died from cardiac failure during the clash at Auchparha union. He said police opened fire and lobbed tear gas shells to bring the situation under control.
In Narsinghdi, a 60-year-old supporter of an independent candidate died in an attack by supporters of ruling Awami League candidate, police said.
Three others were ‘critically’ injured in clashes at Sreenagar union, he added.
Locals at Harinmari union of Baliadangi Upazila in Thakurgaon alleged that a person died in police firing during clashes between supporters of rival candidates.
In Comilla, a youth was hacked to death near a polling centre at Madhabpur union. The Awami League candidate was among six others injured in the incident, police said. The violence erupted amid reports of irregularities and rigging in the polls at several places.