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18 polling centres torched across country

TBP Desk
06 Jan 2024 17:22:14 | Update: 06 Jan 2024 20:14:09
18 polling centres torched across country
Miscreants torch Purba Chandana Government Primary School, the polling centre in Ward 17 Gazipur on Saturday - TBP Photo

At least 18 polling centres and one election camp were set on fire by miscreants in Gazipur, Patuakhali, Sunamganj, Satkhira, Mymensingh, Sherpur, Habiganj, Chattogram, Shariatpur, Moulvibazar, Barguna and Natrakona districts ahead of Sunday's national election.

2 polling centres, 1 school torched in Gazipur

Purba Chandana Government Primary School, TNT Government Primary School and Bashthali Government Primary School were set to fire in the early hours of Saturday night.

Confirming the matter to The Business Post, Inspector (Investigation) Rafiqul Islam of Gazipur Metropolitan Police said that miscreants set Purba Chandana Government Primary School polling station in Ward 17 and TNT Government Primary School in Ward 18 at around 2am and 3:30am consecutively.

He added that TNT Govt Primary School was a polling centre during the last city corporation election but not one this time.

Meanwhile, Bashthali Government Primary School, a polling station in Mouchaak union of Kaliakair upazila, was torched by unidentified miscreants. All the goods inside the office room were burnt to ashes.

Kaliakair Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) and Returning Officer in the election, Hossain Mohammed Hye Joki confirmed the matter and said that police and fire service personnel have been sent to the scene. The matter will be investigated and legal action will be taken.

One polling centre set to fire in Patuakhali

Miscreants set fire to the Sher-e-Bangla Girls' Secondary School polling centre in Patuakhali at around 9:30am Saturday. The school's guard and locals managed to bring the fire under control.

The school's Principal, Rahima Mini, filed a general diary at the Patuakhali Sadar Police Station in connection with the incident. She said that the fire was quickly brought under control, so there was not much damage.

Mohammad Jasim, the officer-in-charge of Patuakhali Sadar Police Station, said that they visited the scene after receiving the news. Legal action will be taken after the investigation.

Patuakhali District Administrator and Returning Officer Nur Qutubul Alam said that the incident will not have any impact on the election.

Arson attempt at a polling centre in Sunamganj

Miscreants attempted to set fire to the Garakati Government Primary School polling centre in the South Bangsaikunda union of Sunamganj's Madhyanagar upazila at around 4am on Saturday.

There was some partial damage to school properties as the fire was brought under control quickly.

Due to the remote location of this polling centre, it has been decided to send ballot papers to the said centre on the night before the election. In addition, due to the low activity of law enforcement agencies, the said polling station is considered to be more risky.

After receiving the news, Madhyanagar Police Station OC Emran Hossain inspected the polling station.

Emran Hossain said, “The miscreants threw petrol or kerosene from the veranda through the window at night and set it on fire with a gas match. Immediately, following the instructions of higher authorities, we deployed law enforcement officers at every polling station.”

AL election camp torched in Satkhira

On Saturday morning, miscreants set fire to the election camp of the Awami League nominated candidate for the Satkhira-4 constituency, SM Ataur Rahman Dolon. The camp and two neighbouring businesses were burnt to ashes in the fire.

Kaliganj Additional Superintendent of Police Aminur Rahman said that the incident of arson would be investigated properly and legal action would be taken against the culprits.

Sultan Ahmed, the supervisor of the election camp in Kaliganj, said that unidentified miscreants set fire to the election camp at around 5am. By the time Kaliganj Fire Service personnel brought the fire under control the office’s furniture and other equipment had already been burnt to ashes. He also said that two adjoining businesses Raj Telecom and Asia Steel and Thai Aluminum were partially damaged in the fire.

After receiving the news the AL nominated candidate Ataur Rahman Dolon visited the scene.

Dolon said that the camp was set on fire by his election rival, anchor symbol candidate HM Golam Reza. He demanded a fair investigation and punishment of the culprits in the incident. At the same time, he urged the voters to go to the centre and vote.

The MP aspirant HM Golam Reza could not be contacted over the phone for a statement in this regard.

2 polling centres torched in Mymensingh

Miscreants set fire to two polling centres in Nandail and Gafargaon upazilas of Mymensingh district early Saturday.

Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh district and returning officer Dider-e-Alam Mohammad Maksud Chowdhury said unidentified miscreants set fire to Haripur Government Primary School in Nandail and Parshipara Government Primary School in Gafargaon upazila of the district early Saturday.

On information, firefighting units rushed to the spots and extinguished the fire.

Masum Ahmed Bhuiya, superintendent of Mymensingh Police, said five people were arrested in this connection and legal action will be taken after investigation.

12 polling centres torched in 7 districts

In Sherpur, a fire broke out at the store room of Mirzapur Government Primary School at Bajitkhila in Sadar upazila of the district early Saturday, reports UNB.

Some benches were gutted in the fire, said Jabed Hossain Muhammad Tarek, deputy assistant director of Fire Service and Civil Defence.

Whether it is an act of sabotage or not will be investigated, said Sherpur Police Station OC Emdadul Haque.

In Habiganj, miscreants set fire to Dolairpar Government Primary School, a polling centre at Chandona village of Chunarughat upazila in Habiganj district, on Friday night.

Md Manikuzzaman, in charge of Chunarughat Fire Station, said miscreants set the school on fire around midnight.

In Chattogram, miscreants set fire to three polling stations in Khulshi and Bandar areas of the port city of Chattogram early Saturday.

The centres which were set ablaze are Nishchinta Para Government Primary School, Mohius Sunnah Madrasa in the Bandar area and UCEP School (Dabba School) in Khulshi.

Md Shamim, senior station officer of Bandar Fire Service Station, said two firefighting units were engaged in dousing the flame at the spots after being informed about the incidents around 5am.

The fire originated from the headmaster’s room of the school and valuables including books were burnt in the fire.

The extent of damages caused by the fire in the Khulshi school could not be ascertained immediately.

Mohammad Ali Hossain, Deputy Commissioner (Port-West) of Chattogram Detective Police, said they went to the centres after receiving the news.

In Shariatpur, miscreants set fire to a polling centre in Shariatpur's Naria upazila early Saturday.

Shariatpur Police Super Mahbubul Alam confirmed the matter adding that several benches of the centre were burnt in the fire incident.

In Moulvibazar, a polling centre was set on fire at the Sadar upazila on Friday night.

Moulvibazar Model Police Station officer-in-charge KM Nazrul said four youths on two motorcycles set fire to the polling station throwing kerosene in a plastic bottle inside the school.

In Barguna, two polling stations in Barguna's Amtali upazila were torched by unidentified miscreants on Saturday. The fire occurred at the Baliatli Charkagachiya Dakhil Madrasa and the Arapangasiya Government School.

Amtali Police Station OC Shakhawat Hossain Tupu said that the fire was quickly brought under control by residents. There was not much damage. He said that further legal action would be taken after investigating the matter.

In Netrokona's Kendua upazila, miscreants set fire to the Dawki Government Primary School, Durchapur Government Primary School, Baghber Government Primary School, and Durgapur Government Primary School, according to media sources.

Quoting locals, Kendua Police Station OC Md Enamul Haque said that unidentified miscreants tried to set fire at 1am, but members of the village police and locals put out the fire. He said that there was no major damage in the fire.