BNP, Jamaat force Rajshahi voters stay indoors

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Tatarpur villagers of Charghat upazila stay put indoors since this morning as the activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, Islami Chhatra Shibir, threatened to torch their houses if they cast their votes.

The Jamaat men also exploded several crude bombs there to create panic among the villagers, reports our Rajshahi correspondent visiting different spots and quoting villagers.

Meanwhile, the activists of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir also kept cordoned off Maria Govt Primary School centre in the same upazila, barring voters from exercising their franchise power till 10:30am.

The activists of Jamaat, the key ally of main opposition BNP, also threatened the election officials of the centre for dire consequences if they try to come out of the centre, an election official told The Daily Star seeking anonymity.

In the meantime, the opposition men led by Charghat Upazila Chairman Abu Sayeed took position at different points of Daulatpur village with sharp weapons and firearms to resist the voter from going to Salua Degree College center, villagers claimed.

A group of 20 to 30 Jamaat-Shibir men paid door to door visit at Tatarpur village and asked the residents to stay away from polling centers, said Fatema Begum, a villager.

They also threatened to torch the entire village if anyone dares to go to polling centre, alleged Jarina Begum, another resident of the village.

“I could not dare to go to polling centre after their threat,” Jarina told The Daily Star.

The Jamaat-Shibir men also took position at different points of the village to identify the people who are going to polling centre, the villagers added.

No vote was cast at Maria Govt Primary School centre till 10:30am as the activists of BNP and Jamaat-Shibir have kept the centre cordoned off since the morning.

Election official of the center told The Daily Star that a total of 2787 people are eligible to cast their votes in the centre.

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