The election was held via electronic voting machines (EVMs). There were 4,88,633 voters.
Bringing allegations of being beaten up by ruling AL activists at two polling centres, independent Arman Ali boycotted the polls.
During visits to 30 polling centres out of the 156, the correspondents of this paper could not find any polling agents apart from those of the AL nominee.
At Lalkhan Bazar Jamiyatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa centre, only 298 votes were cast out of 2,516 until 3:00pm, said Assistant Presiding Officer Mozzamel Hoque.
Three polling stations were set up at Shahid Nagar City Corporation Girls’ High School in Lalkhan Bazar. Only 331 voters out of 3,198 voted for their candidates as of 3:15pm, said Atikur Rahman, presiding officer of a centre.
Arif Mainuddin, presiding officer of another centre at the same school, said only seven percent votes were cast out of 2,252 until 3:00pm.
At Chattogram Polytechnic Institute in Nasirabad, only 374 voters out of 2,874 cast their votes until 3:00pm, said Sumon Shikdar, presiding officer of the centre.
Ekramul Haque, presiding officer of Tigerpass-Ambagan Bangladesh Railway High School centre, said only the agent of the ruling AL nominee was present.
Presiding Officer Farooq Hossain of USEP Ambagan Technical School Centre said an agent of Jatiya Party candidate reported for duty in the morning, but left 10 minutes later.
Contacted, Deepak Kumar Palit, the Trinamool BNP candidate, told this newspaper that he assigned agents to all centres. “I have to find out why they were not present at the centres.”
JP contender said he too sent agents to all centres. When asked why they were not there, he said, “I am looking into it.”
‘ATTACK’ ON CANDIDATE
Independent Arman boycotted the election around 3:00pm, alleging that he was beaten up by activists of AL and Swechchhasebak League at two polling stations.
Later, he was sent home under police protection.
Arman told The My News that some Swechchhasebak League activists, led by its Chattogram city unit President Debashish Nath Debu, attacked him and tore his shirt at Pranhari Government Primary School centre in Halishahar Faillatoli Bazar area around 11:30am. Later, he came under attack by AL activists at Dr Fazlul Hajera Degree College centre, he said.
Arman said, “After the incidents, I informed Chattogram Regional Election Officer Md Hasanuzzaman, but didn’t get any help.”
Debashish said, “I don’t understand why he [Arman] is bringing such false allegations against me. I don’t even know him.”
Asked whether he went to that centre, Debashish said, “We heard that a computer of the centre was out of order and we went there to know what had happened. But no untoward incidents took place there.”
Chattogram Regional Election Officer Hasanuzzaman, who was the returning officer of the by-election, said he was not aware of any such incidents. “Nobody told me about this in person or over the phone. I would have taken action if I had been informed.”
Mostafizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Pahartali Police Station, said the candidate was sent home under police protection, adding that no untoward incidents took place at the centres.
Asked about the reason for sending the candidate home, the OC said, “He was scared, so we sent him home under police protection.”
The Chattogram-10 (Double Mooring, Pahartoli and Halishahar) fell vacant after AL lawmaker and former minister Afsarul Ameen died on June 2.