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CEC: Attack on polling officials premeditated, but election was fair

  • Published at 05:24 pm March 19th, 2019
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda addresses the reporters at the Chittagong Circuit House on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 Focus Bangla

Two election officials and five others were shot dead in an attack in Rangamati on Monday

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has said that Monday’s attack on the election officials, which killed seven people, in Rangamati’s Baghaichhari upazila was tragic and a premeditated one.

Talking to reporters at the Chittagong Circuit House, Huda on Tuesday said that there was no lapse in security of the polling officers who were on duty in Baghaichhari during the second phase of the fifth Upazila Parishad Election held on Monday.

Saying the attack had also left injured law enforcement personnel who were tasked to protect the polling officials, he said: “The miscreants were lying in wait and launched the attack. These attackers will be tracked down soon.

“The law enforcement agencies, including police, have been directed to take immediate steps in this regard.”

The CEC insisted that there was also no negligence on the part of law enforcement officials.

He also promised to provide financial assistance to the victims.

Also Read- Seven, including two polling officials, shot dead in Rangamati

Huda, however, insisted that the upazila polls were free and fair.

The CEC briefed the media after visiting 11 critically injured people at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Chittagong, who were taken there from Baghaichhari Monday night.

Seven people, including two polling officials and four Ansar and VDP members, were shot dead and at least 26 others injured in a gun attack in Baghaichhari Monday evening.

The officials were engaged in polls duty at three polling centres in the upazila during the voting in the second phase of the upazila polls.

They were returning to the upazila headquarters with election materials after counting votes, when a group of unidentified men from a roadside hillock opened fire on the vehicles they were travelling on in Noymile area.

Six people were killed on the spot and the seventh died on his way to the CMH later in the night.

Also Read- Five chairman candidates boycott upazila polls in Rangamati

The authorities and the law enforcement agencies are yet to figure out who carried out the attack and why.

Meanwhile, Rangamati Deputy Commissioner AKM Mamunur Rashid on Tuesday said a joint drive would be conducted to arrest the attackers.

The district's Superintendent of Police Alamgir Kabir also said that security would be beefed up to prevent the recurrence of such incidents.

The local administration provided Tk20,000 to each family of those killed in the attack.

Seven of the injured, being treated at Baghaichhari Upazila Health Complex, have been given Tk10,000 each.