The chief election commissioner assured all of peaceful city elections and urged polling agents to not leave the polling stations
The law enforcing agencies have marked at least 20 wards in Dhaka where violence may occur during and after the elections. They said they have taken all-out preparations to prevent any untoward incident at those places.
The law enforcers are concerned more about the rebel councillor candidates, especially those from the Awami League, than about the possibility of an Awami League-BNP clash, according to intelligence sources.
In the two city corporations of Dhaka, a total of 111 rebel candidates of Awami League are participating in the polls this year.
Anisur Rahman alias Naim is a rebel candidate of Awami League at ward-49 in Dhaka North City Corporation where Shofiuddin Mollah, the general secretary of the party's Dakshinkhan union committee, has got the ruling party nomination.
Besides, ward-6 and 12 in Mirpur (Dhaka North), ward-20 and 26 in Old Dhaka and ward-56 in Kamrangirchar (Dhaka South) will be under the police scanner.
Meanwhile on Friday, Awami League rebel candidate of ward-24 in Dhaka North Talukder Sarowar came under attack allegedly by a group of followers of the ruling party candidate.
Sarowar, the senior general secretary of Tejgaon Shilpanchal Thana Awami League, was returning home from the mosque after Jumma prayer when he was attacked.
But the Tejgaon Shilpanchal police detained Sarowar.
A follower of Sarowar said, "Awami League nominated candidate Shafi Ullah's cadres attacked Sarowar. They even vandalised our campaign offices. Police have detained victim Sarowar instead of the attackers."
Sub-Inspection Babul Rahman Khan of Tejgaon Shilpanchal Police Station said denied to comment on the detention of Sarowar.
To avoid similar unpleasant happenings, law enforcing agencies set up various check-posts in the capital by Friday afternoon. They had been conducting a search in people and their belongings, motorbikes, cars, etc.
Police have also been conducting drives in different parts of the capital to prevent any infiltration of outsiders who might hinder the city polls.
However, BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam on Thursday night told the media, "It [the drive] is a part of their [Awami League's] plots of rigging the election. Their purpose is to break the confidence of our activists. Last night (Wednesday), police raided many of our activists' houses and detained many. To avoid arrest, many of them do not stay at home."
He alleged the Election Commission is helping the ruling party and the commission has made the election a farce like the one in 2018.
Fakhrul also claimed Awami League has brought their supporters to Dhaka from around the country.
But, Awami League leaders denied Fakhrul's allegations. Awami League General Secretary Mahbubul Alam Hanif said BNP has a motive to raise questions about the election.
"Like other elections in the past, law enforcers have been conducting drives against outsiders. This drive applies to all parties. Why should BNP be afraid of it? It can be inferred that BNP has brought their cadres and activists to Dhaka from different districts. BNP wants to take control of polling centres. As they cannot succeed in their ill motives, they are raising these questions," said Hanif.
City elections will be held peacefully: CEC
Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the city corporation election would be held peacefully.
He also urged the polling agents to be responsible and stay in the polling stations.
"I urge you all [polling agents] to not leave the polling station," he said while speaking to reporters in the Election Commission office on Friday afternoon.
In the past election, it was alleged that the agents of the opponents were forced out of the polling stations.
He also requested the people to not stay outside in a group of more than five individuals.
Police also said actions would be taken if any outsider is found near polling centres.
"If anyone, who has recently come to Dhaka, is found roaming around near polling centres, they will be detained," Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Shafiqul Islam said on Friday.
The 2020 elections to the Dhaka South City Corporation and the Dhaka North City Corporation will be held today. More than 50 lakh people will cast their votes using the electronic voting machines for the first time in all polling stations in the city.