Voters' queue at Matuail Ideal High School centre
Voters' queue at Matuail Ideal High School centre Sajid Hossain

Persons roaming around the Matuail Ideal High School centre hurriedly queued up in the line for voters when they saw journalists and cameras of private TV channels arrive on the scene. They began entering the polling centre one by one. An ansar standing at the main entrance, told them, "Enter, wander around for some time and then come out again."

Voting for the Dhaka-5 by-election began 9:00am. This scene was observed at 10:10am on Saturday at the Matuail Ideal High School centre.

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When asked why these persons were allowed inside, Jatrabari police station assistant sub-inspector (ASI) Ziaur Islam, who had been standing at the main entrance of the centre, replied, "You understand this more than us."

When one of the persons in the queue was asked, "What is your name? Are you a voter?" he simply laughed in response.

Matuail Ideal High School is centre 101. Entering room 501 of the centre at 10:00am, it was seen that two persons had together entered the voting booth encircled with a black curtain. Assistant presiding officers Md Abdul Matin and Md Anwarul Huq were sitting on one side. Also present there was Shyampur police station ASI Shukhdeb.

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One of the persons casting his vote had a card featuring the 'boat' candidate around his neck. When asked how two persons entered the voting booth at the same time, assistant presiding officer Abdul Matin replied, "I forbid them, but we come from a different area. Talk to the presiding officer."

Presiding officer Md Mobarak Hossain said he had not seen any such thing.

There are 2,859 voters in this centre. There were only 'boat' agents in all the booths, with no agents from any other party.

When asked about this, Mobarak Hossain replied, a few 'sheaf of paddy' agents had come. Perhaps they were somewhere around having tea or something.