Scuffles have taken place between the supporters of two councillor candidates at the polling centre of ward no. 23 in Haji Siraj Uddin Memorial High School on Sunday morning.
The voters left the centre in fear after the clashes.
Narayanganj city Swechhasebak League general secretary Saifuddin Ahmed has been contesting with electoral symbol ‘top’ while city BNP organising secretary Abul Kawsar with the symbol ‘push cart’. Saifuddin Ahmed is the current councillor of the ward. He is a supporter of AKM Shamim Osman, the member of parliament of Narayanganj-4 constituency. On the other hand Abul Kawsar is the son of Narayanganj Metro BNP’s president and former MP Abul Kalam.
According to witnesses, several supporters of Saifuddin Ahmed were asking voters to vote for the symbol ‘top’. They got into a row when a supporter of ‘push cart’ objected and complained to a policeman.
Later, police dispersed them, although the voters fled the centre in fear of violence.
A supporter of Abul Kawser said, “Police clearly were favouring the AL affiliated candidate as his supporters were asking female voters to vote for ‘top’. They have been trying to exert influence in and outside the polling centre. We protested against this which made the ‘top’ supporters see red and attack us.”
There are 4,991 voters in the Haji Siraj Uddin High School centre. Some of the female voters alleged that they could not cast votes after standing in the queue for long. Only 212 among 1,226 female voters could cast their votes in first three hours of voting.
The presiding officer of the centre Zakir Hossain denied that any scuffle took place.
“Voting has been going on smoothly. As voters are quite new with the Electronic Voting Machine (EVM), the voting process is a bit slow,” he added.
A police sub-inspector on duty at the centre , Shovon Bhattacharya said, “There had been a heated argument between the supporters of the two candidates. The situation has come under control after the striking force took position in front of the polling centre.”