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Sunday, May 29, 2016, Jaistha 15, 1423 BS, Shaban 21, 1437 Hijri

Violence in 5th phase UP polls claims 9 lives
Elections peaceful, says Chief Election Commissioner
Published :Sunday, 29 May, 2016,  Time : 12:00 AM  View Count : 46
Staff Correspondent
The fifth phase of elections to 717 union parishads ended on Saturday through sporadic clashes that claimed lives of at least nine people, including a chairman candidate, with injury to several hundred others, many of them bullet-hit.
The death toll may be raised as many of the bullet-hit are stated to be in critical conditions at various hospitals and clinics in different districts.
According to the Election Commission, violence and irregularities forced the election officials to suspend voting in at least 53 voting centres across the country.
Our Noakhali correspondent also reported halt to voting 41 centres in two upazilas in the district due to violence.
A mobile court sentenced a six-month imprisonment to Presiding Officer Farhad Hossain, as he cast ballots illegally for 'Boat Symbol' at Shuvogachha Govt Primary School in Kazipur upazila of Sirajganj district.
BGB members detained Saber Ahmed, Chairman candidate of Charpathargata union at Patiya upazila of Chittagong, with ballot papers lying inside his microbus.
The elections witnessed steeping down of a number of BNP and independent Chairman aspirants bringing allegations of irregularities against candidates backed by the ruling party.
In the meantime, two Assistant Presiding Officers, Bimol Chandra and Firoja Begum, died when their motorbike was rammed by a bus in Thakurgaon Sadar upazila.
In Jamalpur, a triangular clash among three Chairman candidates at Bahadurabad union left four persons-Ziaur Rahman, 33, Majed Sheikh,15, Amzad Hossain Nabirul Islam,15 and Nurul Islam,50--dead and 30 others, including two cops, injured.
The UNO, Saiful Islam, suspended the polling to the centre, Khutar Char Ebtedayee Madrasa.
Mohammad Yasin, 40, a Member candidate of Ward No 6 at Baro Uthan union under Karnaphuli in Chittagong, was stabbed to death in a clash between him and his rival occurred outside Shah Mirpur Govt Primary School voting centre.
Mohammad Hossain, 30, another victim to polls-related violence at Fakinnir Hat in Patiya upazila in the district, died at Chittagong Medical College Hospital.
In Noakhali, violence among members of law-enforcers and two Member aspirants killed Sayed Ahmed, 40, and Shakil, 22, at Rajganj and Jithtali unions under Begumganj.
Mohammad Kamal Uddin, a rebel candidate of BNP and incumbent Chairman of Baloram union at Titas of Comilla, was hacked dead in a clash with his rival one at around 3:00pm.
The incident took place outside Nagerchar Govt Primary School, said the on-duty police official, Abdul Awal Sarkar.
Supporters of the deceased claimed that the cohorts of AL- blessed candidate Mohammad Nur Nabi had killed him (Kamal).
Violence was also reported by our correspondents in Brahmanbaria, Chandpur, Munshiganj, Gaibandha, Sylhet, Mymensingh, Savar of Dhaka and Narayanganj, which left at least 29 people wounded.
Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Kazi Rakibuddin Ahmad, meanwhile, claimed less clashes in the fifth phase compared to the last four ones.
At a post-polls press briefing at the EC Secretariat on Saturday, he also claimed the elections were peaceful.
"The number of incidents of stuffing ballot papers has come down," he said, adding that security measures were full-proof before and after the polls.
Rakibuddin also said the EC had suspended the voting to 53 centres. "Many more centres will be cancelled, if necessity arises," he said.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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