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BNP’s councillor-elect killed while celebrating victory; violence, intimidation & boycott mar municipal polls

Municipal polls were marred by violence as a councillor-elect was killed at Sirajganj in a clash, which broke out soon after poll trends projected him to be the winner.

Two top officials of the EC came up with different versions regarding the polls.

Earlier, opposition party candidates boycotted the polls in few places alleging irregularities by ruling Awami League men. According to the Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukder, the election could not be termed “participatory”.

“After visiting 18 booths of 3 polling stations in Savar, I found BNP agents only at three booths. Considering certain factors, I can’t say that the election was participatory,” he told media.

Election Commission’s senior secretary M Alamgir, however, differed in opinion.

“The overall poll scenario was good and voter turned out in good numbers. Though miscreants tried to disrupt polls at some places, but there were adequate number of forces, who brought the situation under control,” he said.

The secretary said 60 to 70 percent votes were cast in Saturday’s elections.

According to him, the Election Commission has been holding the municipal polls in four phases due to the pandemic. On Saturday, 60 municipalities went to polls in the second phase.

Giving an account of the murder of the BNP politician, a source said Tarikul Islam, 45, was killed allegedly by his rivals when he was celebrating his victory on Saturday night. He was supposed to be elected as a councillor of ward-6 of Sirajganj municipality.

According to the officer-in-charge (investigation) of Sirajganjh Sadar Police Station Md Golam Mostafa, attackers stabbed him when he was celebrating his victory.

“Islam was rushed to a private hospital with grievous injuries and he died around 8:30pm,” Mostafa said.

The deceased politician’s supporters alleged he was killed by the goons of his rival candidate.

In another incident, a journalist was verbally abused by ruling Awami League men when he was covering the election in Savar.

The victim, Sagor Farazi, Savar Correspondent of Banglanews24, alleged that his mobile was snatched by the ruling party cadres when he was capturing visuals at Tangail Cadet Academy around 8:10am.

Sources said violence by Awami League men at 10 polling stations in Savar municipal area forced polling agents of the BNP-nominated mayoral candidate stay away from booths.

According to reports, BNP-nominated mayoral aspirant in Ishwardi municipality Rofikul Islam Nayan boycotted the election claiming that he was repeatedly attacked by the ruling party men in Pabna.

In another incident, BNP’s mayoral candidate of Santhia municipality Sirajul Islam Mollah also came under attack by Awami League men at the Santhia Pilot School center.

Five people, including an Ansar member, were injured in a crude bomb blast in Feni on Saturday.

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