Two schools designated as polling stations set on fire in Bangladesh

At least two schools designated as polling centers were set on fire by unknown arsonists in Bangladesh on Saturday as the country prepares to go for general elections on January 7.

Unknown arsonists set fire to the Nischinta Para Government Primary School around 4:30 am in the Patenga EPZ area of Chittagong on Saturday, officials said. “Arsonists set the school`s headmaster`s room on fire. New books which were kept in the room were burnt,” Shakila Soltana, Deputy Commissioner of CMP Port Division, told The Daily Star.

“Police are on the spot and investigating the incident,” she said.

A fire was also reported at another school being used as a polling station in Gazipur city. Authorities say the initial signs point to arson in both incidents. Arsonists allegedly set fire to a cupboard in the office room of East Chandana Government Primary School, destroying books and documents inside, according to Abdullah-al-Arefin, deputy assistant director of Gazipur Fire Service.

Emergency workers from Joydebpur and Gazipur Chowrasta fire stations subsequently extinguished the blaze.

Meanwhile, other five schools that are designated polling centers and 10 election camps came under arson attacks between Thursday and Friday in six districts. No casualties or injuries were reported at the time of the incidents. Police are investigating the incident to trace the criminals, an official said. 

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