Vol. 5 Num 572 Wed. January 04, 2006  
Front Page

Fresh Electoral Roll
Hindu areas in Ctg still out of listing

Most of the predominantly religious minority populated areas in the port city have yet to be visited by the enumerators although three days have passed since the start of work for controversial fresh electoral roll.

In Barisal, the leaders of the main opposition Awami League (AL) allege that BNP activists have been appointed enumerators to manoeuvre the listing process in favour of the ruling alliance. Fair Election Monitoring Alliance (Fema), an election observing body, too has noticed anomaly in preparing the list.

Our staff correspondent in Chittagong reports: Many intending electors in Chittagong alleged yesterday that the enumerators are skipping places populated mainly by the minorities.

The local leaders of the ruling alliance by their uncalled-for supervision service have been trying to make sure the enumeration staff do not enter the places having a population showing allegiance to the opposition, they added.

Hindu voters constituting about one fifth of the total voters in Chittagong have always been considered a vital factor in deciding the outcome of an election.

Out of 11 lakh voters, around two lakh belong to Hindu community and live mainly in Jamal Khan, Hazari Lane, Patharghata, Gangabari, Firingee Bazar, Nalapara, Enayet Bazar Goalpara and Malipara, Kaiblyadham Malipara, North Kattali, Kattali Ishan Mahajanpara, Failyatali Bazar, Panjabi Lane, Shahid Lane, Master Lane, Bakalia DC Road, Dewan Bazar and Mohora.

The enumerators collected information on the would-be voters in East Feroz Shah Colony over the last three days, but they did not pay a single visit to the adjoining minority dominated Kaibalyadham Malipara, alleged the locals.

Satyajit Sarker Jiku, 28, of Eshan Mahajanpara said they got themselves enrolled in the list only after bringing the enumerators to the area on their own initiative.

No enumerator yesterday visited Hindu populated Hazari Gali area where only 11 voters have been listed in the last three days, alleged the locals.

When contacted, Election Officer Dulal Talukder said the enumeration would continue till January 31 and all the areas would be visited by turns.

Besides, he said, it is a continuous process and if anyone is missed out this time, they will be able to be on the list later.

A total of 3,437 field level information collectors have been working under 862 supervisors and 50 assistant registration officers in 41 wards across the metropolis, sources said.

Our Barisal correspondent adds: Leaders of district Awami League (AL) allege that BNP cadres have been seen preparing the voter list in most of the areas of the district to include their supporters while excluding the voters with a leaning towards the opposition.

City AL Convener Shawkat Hossain Hiron as well as several upazila unit leaders have brought the allegations.

Hiron said Anisur Rahman Hiru and Khairul Alam, the president and vice president of BNP ward No 2 under Barisal City Corporation, have been given appointment as enumerators. They went to Kuakata to celebrate the New Year for two days, hampering the work for voter list.

Barisal district election officer Majibur Rahman said the two were appointed as enumerators because they are by profession teachers of two local schools. Their political identity was not a consideration in the recruitment, he added.

Meanwhile, Fema at the end of their first day's monitoring detected anomalies in preparing the voter list. The enumerators have included names of non-resident and absentees in the voter list at Charmonai union of Sadar upazila, a Fema official reported.

Meantime, election office and BNP men alleged that AL activists yesterday assaulted female enumerator Shahnaz Parvin in Gouranadi area while she was on duty.

The opposition supporters said Shahnaz is a sister of a local BNP activist and introduces herself as an NGO worker while doing the enumeration task.