The worrying trend of violent clashes, which had been a feature of the build-up to the second phase of the Union Parishad (UP) polls, continued on election day on Thursday as well.
Six activists of the ruling Awami League were killed and many others injured in separate clashes between supporters of rival candidates in different districts during the second phase of the UP polls.
Law enforcers were found wanting as clashes between rival candidates in different districts led to the death of six Awami League activists.
In Chattogram's Fatikchari upazila, a person named Mohammad Shafi, 55, was knifed to death.
According to local people, chase and counter chase between two rival candidate supporters took place outside the Lalpur Tofail Ahmed Primary School voting centre in Lelang union.
The clashes left 10 people injured. A critically injured Shafi was taken to hospital, where doctors declared him dead.
In Narsingdi's Raipura, which is considered a risky area, three people died during the polls.
The deceased were identified as Salah Uddin Miah, 45, Jahangir Haque, 26, and Dulal Miah, 30, all residents of Raipura upazila.
Azizur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Raipura Police Station, said the supporters of Awami League's rival candidate Zakir Hossain shot dead Dulal Miah while he was on his way to the Bashgari UP Complex around 7am.
"They also attacked him with a fishing spear to ensure his death," the OC said, adding that the body was sent to the local hospital morgue for autopsy.
Afterwards, a clash ensued, leaving the other two dead.
Among the deceased, Salah Uddin and Jahangir were supporters of Ratul Hasan Zakir, the independent chairman candidate of Rashgari Union, and Dulal was a supporter of the current chairman and boat candidate Ashraful Haque.
Tensions had been running high in the area for several days.
On the eve of the election, there were chases, counter-chases and cocktail explosions between the two feuding groups. The clashes continued till late at night.
As the voting period drew to a close, the clashes intensified and Dulal was shot dead. Afterwards, news of Salah Uddin and Jahangir's death was received.
Earlier on 25 October, there were clashes between the two Awami League factions, where five people were shot and at least 20 injured.
Meanwhile in Khurushkul union in Cox's Bazar, Akhtaruzzaman Putu, 38, was killed and at least seven others injured when supporters of two candidates of the UP polls clashed around noon.
Nurul Amin, an independent chairman candidate, told The Business Standard, "The clash took place between activists of Sheikh Kamal and Abu Bakkar Siddique, two member candidates of Ward 1. During it, Sheikh Kamal's activist Putu was killed and six to seven others injured."
Witnesses said when Kamal's men entered the voting centre to cast their ballots, Siddique's men swooped on them.
Armed with sharp weapons, both sides clashed with each other. Later, blank shots were fired and voters left the centre. Upon receiving the news, the local administration reached the spot and brought the situation under control.
Elsewhere in Cumilla's Manikchar union, Shaon Ahmed, 25, died after he was shot. He was rushed to hospital, but succumbed to his injuries.
The death came during clashes between police and "some outsiders", who forcefully tried to enter a polling station in Manikarchar Union.
The same incident left two others -- Yash Mia and Nazmul -- in critical condition, with both having bullet wounds.
Following the incident, police detained Manikarchar mosque Imam Nazmul Hasan, claiming he incited the violence using the tannoy at the mosque. He allegedly announced that outsiders were casting votes inside the polling station.
Clashes leave countless injured
In Satkhira, two separate incidents of clashes were reported between the supporters and activists of the rival candidates in Baikari Union of Sadar upazila, which left at least 10 people injured.
In Netrokona, voting was postponed at Atkapara Government Primary School in Sadar Upazila when alleged Awami League supporters tried to cast fake votes.
Meanwhile, polling at Bairaura Government Primary School and Lakhsiganj Primary School in the same union were suspended after police recovered 100 ballot papers from outside the centre.
A scuffle between supporters of an Awami League candidate and an independent candidate also erupted in the union. Police reportedly fired shots in the air to bring the situation under control.
In Noakhali, chairman candidate Anisur Rahman sustained bullet wounds during a clash between police and his supporters in a polling centre in Alayapur union of Begumganj upazila.
A chase and counter chase took place. Police opened fire when the candidate's supporters tried to occupy the polling station.
There was also an exchange of fire during the clash, following which two people were arrested from the spot. Two others were injured in the clash.
Another clash at a polling station in Chaliabhanga union in Meghna upazila of Cumilla left injured at least 10 leaders and activists of two rival candidates -- boat symbol holder Abdul Latif and pineapple symbol holder Humayun Kabir.
Voting was halted there for half an hour due to the clash.
There were also allegations of vote buyinh, occupying centres and attempting to rig the elections.
Voting took place in 835 UPs in the second phase of the election.