Bullet-Versus-Ballot: Shooters Kill Seven, Wound 15 In Local Body Election Season In Southern Bangladesh

Bullet-Versus-Ballot: Shooters Kill Seven, Wound 15 In Local Body Election Season In Southern BangladeshRepresentative image. (Wikimedia Commons)

In election-related violence, shooters killed at least seven people and wounded 15 more in southeastern Bangladesh as they opened fire on two election-duty cars returning from a polling station with ballot boxes, reports The Daily Star.

Though investigations are underway, the attackers are yet to be identified.

“The security personnel, including two women, and the polling officials were returning to the Upazila town with election results and polling materials...Two jeeps came under a hail of gunfire in Noymile area around 6:00 pm, leaving four dead on the spot,” said Abul Manjur, officer-in-charge of Baghaichhari Police Station. Others died at the hospital.

Baghaichhari in Rangamati district where the violence took place, is known for tribal life. The district is famous for lakes, forested hills and tribal life, and thousands of tourists, mostly Bangladeshi, visit each year. Despite its tourist potential, the region was also once a hotbed for a tribal insurgency.

The present elections were being held to elect local government officials. However, eleven candidates in Rangamati boycotted the polls about an hour after the voting began at 8:00 am, alleging irregularities and vote rigging.

Shares Border With India

It is reported that several armed tribal groups are still active in the district, which shares borders with both India and Myanmar. Though a 1997 peace treaty between the government and armed tribal group Parbatya Chattagram Jana Samhati Samiti, put an end to the insurgency, the region remained tumultuous because other separatist groups continued to live on extortion and control of government contracts.

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