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BNP protests poll violence

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bnp-logoMembers of the BNP have besieged Deputy Commissioner’s (DC) offices across Bangladesh to protest violence and alleged rigging in the Upazila Parishad elections.

Leaders and activists led by the BNP’s Dhaka unit President Abdul Mannan handed over a memorandum to DC Shaikh Yusuf Harun after thronging his office in Old Dhaka around noon on Thursday.“There has been an escalation of violence during the Upazila election. That is why we gave our memorandum,” said Mannan, who is also an adviser to BNP chief Khaleda Zia.He said the party hoped the district administrations would take measures to meet their demand for free and fair election.BNP Joint Secretary General Ruhul Kabir Rizvi said memorandums given to DCs of all districts.Rizvi announced the programme on Mar 18 after alleging massive irregularities during the local elections, including attacks on polling stations and covert killing of party activists.

The BNP, the former main opposition, is slightly ahead of the ruling Awami League at the end of round three of the five-phase elections to elect Upazila Council chairmen.A total 126 BNP-backed chairmen were elected. Another 121 elected chairmen are backed by the ruling party.The level of violence escalated with each phase.The BNP alleged harassment, irregularities and violence before and after the polls.The Election Commission admitted that there were sporadic events of violence but said the polls were mostly ‘peaceful’.

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