Five candidates were elected unopposed in five upazilas
Locals in Comilla fear that violence may erupt during the fourth phase of the upcoming upazila elections, stemming from previous conflicts between rebel candidates of the Awami League.
Elections in 13 upazilas were scheduled for March 31, but only seven will hold elections, as five candidates were elected unopposed in five upazilas, and voting in one was stopped by the Election Commission.
Voting will take place in Burichang, Brahmanpara, Muradnagar, Homna, Meghna, Titas, and Chandina upazilas, where Awami League rebel candidates are also contesting in the polls.
Burichang and Titas upazilas are the most risky regions prone to violence, locals say.
A fight broke out on March 10, between Awami League candidate Abul Hashem Khan, and supporters of rebel candidate Akhlakh Haider, in Burichang where 10 people were injured.
Akhlakh said his men were attacked by Hashem’s men, but Hashem denied the allegations.
Polls were postponed in Barura Sadar upazila, after clashes broke out between supporters of Awami League chairman candidate, ANM Moinul Islam, with supporters of rebel candidate Sohel Samad.
There are also several murder allegations against Sohel Shikder, Awami League’s Titas upazila candidate. His opponent, former chairman Parvez Sarkar, has been campaigning in the area in full swing, with armed men by his side.
Conflicts regarding politics in Titas have become a regular feature and every time clashes happen, someone dies, locals say.
Comilla Senior Electoral Officer, Md Zahangir Hossain, said: "Additional troops have been deployed in each upazila for the upcoming polls.
“Five platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) have been deployed, instead of three. We are alert and cautious about ensuring violence free polls."