Fire at 2 primary schools in Rajshahi, including a polling centre

A room of the polling centre at the Jhina Government Primary School in Arani area of Rajshahi was burnt in the fireProthom Alo

Two educational institutions, including a polling centre, reportedly caught fire just two days ahead of the voting to the 12th parliamentary elections in Bagha upazila of Rajshahi. The schools are - Jhina Government Primary School in the Arani poura (municipal) area and Jotonshi Primary School in the Pakuria union of the district.

Although both schools are polling centres, the building which caught fire at the Jotonshi Primary School was abandoned.

According to the locals and the police, the fire broke out at some point in the night in the two schools. Furniture in both schools was completely burnt in the fire. Besides, some important documents of the teachers at the Jhina Primary School also got burnt in the blaze.

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Speaking to Prothom Alo, Jhina Primary School headmaster, Murad Ali told Prothom Alo over the phone that a guard of the school informed him about the fire at around 11:00 pm Thursday. Hearing the news he called the local power authority to snap the electricity connection. Then locals brought the fire under control.

He said all the furniture, including chairs, tables and almirah, were completely burnt in the fire. There were also some important documents in that almirah. He has informed the upazila administration and upazila education officer and the police administration about the incident, he said.

Speaking regarding the possible source of the fire, Murad Ali said that many are saying that the fire originated from an electric short circuit. But he found traces of petrol at the spot. Besides, the window on the rear side of the room was found broken. It is being assumed that some  miscreants might have done this. He will file a complaint with the police over the incident.

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Murad Ali said, “Everything will be finalised within today (Thursday). The administration has assured us that would be no problem in holding polls.

Meanwhile, Mehedi Hasan, a security guard of the Jotonshi Government Primary School, said he noticed the fire early in the morning and informed the school authority. The building was abandoned long ago. Some furniture inside the building was burnt in the fire. He suspects that some miscreants might be behind this.

Meanwhile, the members of law enforcement cordoned off the place in the morning.

Bagha police station officer-in-charge (OC) Md Aminul Islam said they heard that the fire at the school in the Arani area originated from an electric short circuit. However, there was no such evidence. It could be sabotage.

The OC suspects that somebody might have set the building on fire from the rear side of the building. However, that building wasn’t a polling centre.

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