The much-awaited Bangladeshi election was marred by violence as the eight hours-long voting closed at 4 p.m. with reports of low turnout because of panic among voters and widespread boycott by the opposition. Polling ended in all 147 parliamentary constituencies across the country amid attacks by the anti-poll activists which forced the Election Commission to suspend voting in at least 161 centres. A total of 390 candidates from the ruling Awami League-led alliance contested in the 147 constituencies where there was no formidable opposition. Interestingly, in many constituencies, the ruling party candidates faced formidable party rebels. The total number of polling centres was 18,208. The situation worsened from Friday night when opposition activists set on fire as many as 100 polling centres over 49 centres on Saturday and Sunday. They also beat a presiding officer to death in Thakurgaon .
At least 20 people, mostly anti-election campaigners but also poll officials and members of law enforcement agencies, were killed.
Pro-opposition agitators tried to foil the elections boycotted by the BNP and Jamaat.
Reports said scores of polling stations – which are mostly primary and secondary schools — and election material have either been set on fire or vandalised, forcing the law enforcers to open fire in many places across the country.
Full Article: Violence mars poll in Bangladesh – The Hindu.