Election to 1,000 union parishads is underway in several districts of Bangladesh this morning amid sporadic reports of violence.
The third phase of the Union Parishad (UP) election began at 8 am today and will continue until 4 pm without any break.
The highest number of union parishads went to the polls in the third phase.
At least 45 people were killed and several hundred injured, during and after the first two phases of the polls.
Nine were killed ahead of the third phase, and 30 in pre-and post-polls violence centring the second phase held on November 11.
A man was killed in violence over the union Parishad election in Terokhada Upazila of Khulna today, hours after voting began in Madhupur Union.
The deceased was identified as Babul Shikder (38), a supporter of Awami League backed chairman candidate Md Mohsin in the Madhupur UP election.
Talking to our Khulna correspondent, Md Mohsin said some supporters of rebel chairman candidate Kamal Hossain attacked his supporter Babul and stabbed him with sharp weapons early today, centring the election.
Babul was rushed to Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) where doctors declared him dead this morning, said Mohsin.
Confirming the death, Mosharaf Hossain, inspector (investigation) of Terokhada Police Station, said “We are on the spot. Several teams of police are trying to arrest the people involved in the murder.”
The OC said they heard the victim was a supporter of the Awami League backed chairman candidate.
Although elections are underway in the six unions today, no violence at voting centres has been reported so far, the OC added.
Voting is on at six union parishads in Terokhada and Rupsha Upazilas.
Almost every Awami League-backed chairman candidate is contesting against rebel candidates in the unions.
Around two lakh people are expected to cast their votes at 68 polling centres.
Some masked men allegedly attacked voters and prevented them from entering the polling station on Belkuma Punji road under Moulvibazar’s Kalaura Upazila. Two people were hurt in the incident.
The incident took place at 8:30 am today. The injured were identified as Patrick Khangla (45) and Loi Khangla (40), reports our local correspondent.
Binoy Bhushan Roy, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kulaura Police Station, said police were deployed in the area after receiving information on the attack. He also said that a drive was launched to detain those responsible for the attack.
The situation is now back to normal. Everyone is casting their votes, the OC said.
People started casting their votes at 318 polling centres of 32 union parishads in three Upazila Sarail, Nabinagar and Bancharampur this morning.
A total of 141 candidates are fighting for chairman posts in the 32 unions while 1,019 candidates for member posts and 293 candidates for reserved member seats for women.
Md Jillur Rahman, election officer of Brahmanbaria, said they have taken all kinds of steps to hold the elections in a peaceful and fair manner.
People are casting their votes at Nilkhi Uttarpara Forkania Madrasa centre in Nabinagar Upazila under the open sky.
Mohammad Al Amin Khan, presiding officer of the centre, said two temporary booths have been set up under the open sky due to a lack of space for voters.
Meanwhile, AL backed chairman candidate Mujibur Rahman for Laurfatepur union Parishad allegedly threatened a presiding officer of a polling station in Nabinagar Upazila.
The incident happened at Hajipur Government Primary School Centre in Laurfatepur union this morning.
Presiding officer Abul Khayer confirmed the incident.
Meanwhile, a mobile court sentenced a man to six months in jail for casting a fake vote in Sarail Upazila.
Brahmanbaria assistant commissioner and executive magistrate Saffat Ara Sayeed confirmed the development to our local correspondent.
Alauddin Miah (27) was detained when he came to Tighar Government Primary School centre for Panishwar union Parishad election and tried to cast vote in the name of one Idris Mia, said the magistrate.
Later, he was sentenced to six months in jail and fined Tk 6,000, added the magistrate.
Voting started in 16 union parishads under Kaliganj and Kotchandpur Upazilas.
Nearly 1.88 lakh people are expected to cast their votes in the elections. A total of 29 candidates are fighting for chairman posts while 315 candidates for member posts and 94 candidates for reserved member seats for women.
The election of 28 union Parishad in three Upazilas Santhia, Ishwardi and Chatmohar — began this morning.
A good turnout of voters was noticed from the beginning of voting, said Md Mahabubur Rahman, senior district election officer
The number of voters will be increasing as the day progresses, the election officer added.
An independent candidate for chairman post came under attack by some supporters of AL backed chairman candidate Golam Mostofa at a polling centre under Matlab Dakhkhin Upazila around 9 am.
Witnesses said some followers of the ruling party candidate attacked independent candidate Yusuf Patwari when he came to Bakra Government Primary School centre under Upadhi Dakkhin union Parishad.
Presiding officer Ranjit Kumar Basu said police brought the situation under control. There was no impact at the polling centre over the attack. The voting is underway peacefully.
Supporters of a rebel chairman candidate allegedly attacked the house of Awami League backed candidate Golam Sarwar in Majidbaria union Parishad election in Mirzaganj Upazila last night — centring today’s election, said Harun-or-Rashid, brother of Golam Sarwar.
The attackers vandalised some rooms and some motorcycles during the attack, he alleged.
Mirzaganj Police Station Officer-in-Charge Anwar Hossain Talukder told our correspondent that they brought the situation under control. Eleven people from several areas of the Upazila have been arrested on charges of trying to influence the election, said the OC.
Voting for two unions under Kawkhali Upazila is underway peacefully.
A total of 20,962 people are expected to cast their votes. In total 11 candidates are running for chairman posts.