Voting in the in the 6th and final phase election to 698 union parishads (UPs) of 82 upazilas of the country’s 64 districts ended on Saturday afternoon amid sporadic violence that left three people dead in Noakhali, Feni and Mymensingh districts, agencies report. The balloting in the polls to the lowest tire of the local government started at 8am and continued till 4pm without any break.
Meanwhile, around 100 people, including 28 in Sonagazi upazila of Feni 20 in Gafurgaon of Mymensingh, 5 cops in Comilla, 2 in Noakhali, three in Sharsha upazila of Jessore district and an AL-backed chairman candidate in Satkania upazila of Chittagong, were injured in the election violence.
Eight BNP-backed candidates boycotted the elections in Savar upazila of Dhaka and Pabna districts on allegation of various irregularities. Voting at a polling centre in Charkadira union of Kamalganj upazila was suspended as a clash took place between supporters of two member candidates in Laxmipur.
According to reports , a man, Nur Hossain Shipon, 22, son of Abdul Karim of Dakkhhin Char Kandia union, was shot dead and eight people were injured in a clash between rival groups at a polling centre in Sonagazi upazila of Feni.
Rezaul Haque, superintendent of police of Feni, said a clash erupted between the supporters of AL-backed chairman candidate Mosharaf Hossain and BNP- backed candidate Shamsuddin Khokan in Tofael Ahmed High School polling centre at Dakkhhin Char Kandia union in the morning.
The rival party men exchanged gunfire during the clash, leaving Shipon dead on the spot. Four policemen, three Ansar members, two assistant presiding officers, two female polling officers also suffered bullet wounds during the clash. Besides, 20 people sustained injuries, including nine with bullet, in clashes at different polling centers of the upazila.
In Noakhali, Arafat,22, was killed and another was injured critically in a clash between the supporters AL-backed chairman candidate Amir Hossain and rebel candidate Akbar Hossain at Bhelanagar madarasah centre in Newazpur union.
Araft, a student of Dhaka Polytechnic Institute, sustained severe injures as rivals chopped him with sharp weapons during the clash. Later, he died in Comilla on way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, said Sudharam model thana officer-in-charge Anwar Hossain.
Injured Zahid was admitted to sadar hospital. In Mymensingh, police opened fire during a clash between the supporters of two member candidates at Pukuria Government Primary School polling station in Shaltia Union of Goforgaon upazila at noon, leaving Shajahan injured with bullets.
Shahjahan was declared dead when taken to upazila health complex. Twenty other people were injured in the clash. As in the previous five phases, no balloting is required against 27 chairman posts where ruling Awami League candidates have already been elected uncontested in this phase.
Earlier, some 190 AL chairman contenders were elected unopposed in the first five phases of the violence-marred elections beginning in March last. Some 3,200 candidates contested the election for chairman posts, while some 30,000 others for member posts and reserved seats of the UPs.
In the wake of election violence that killed over 100 people, the EC has taken a few preventive measures in the final phase election.