Rashid said, “I have a job in Cumilla. I came to Chattogram three days ago on the occasion of the city polls. But after going to the centre today, I couldn’t vote at my will.”

Describing his voting experience, Rashid said, “After entering the centre, several people took my card and punched it in the (electronic voting) machine. They took my finger print and pushed the (EVM) button. Then they told me that my vote has been casted."

Regretting his situation to miss the opportunity, Rashid lamented, “As long as I live I will never (come to the polling centre to) vote.”

Those who barred Rashid from voting were believed to be the followers of the Awami League candidate.

Seven more voters also talked to Prothom Alo at the Forest Research High School polling centre. Five of them said they couldn’t vote freely and had the experience like Rashid.

When asked about the allegations of voters, presiding officer of Forest Research High School polling centre, Quamrul Islam, however, claimed that no trouble occurred in casting votes.

“Those, who are coming, are casting votes smoothly. Till 9:50am, some 52 votes were casted at his centre so far,” he added.

Police identified 429 of the 735 voting centres as risk-prone at the city. Some 9,000 policemen have been deployed to ensure security at the polling centres.

Voting began at 8:00am and continued till 4:00pm at a stretch.

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