An assistant presiding officer was detained on charge of vote rigging in Barisal Sadar upazila today nearly two hours after the second-phase upazila election began.
Sajjad Hossain, the assistant presiding officer of Karnakathi Gausia Rahmania High School polling centre, was detained around 10:00am, Md Selim Ahmed, presiding officer of the polling centre confirmed to The Daily Star.A mobile team also arrested Mamun, an Awami League supporter, while he was stamping ballots in favour of his party, Ahmed added.
Meanwhile, the voting was suspended for 45 minutes from 10 in the morning at the polling centre following the detention, Ahmed added.
In another development, vote casting procedure at Khontakathi Primary School and high school in Chandpura union of the upazila also postponed following vote rigging allegation.
A mobile team led by magistrate Rubel Ahmed nabbed the assistant presiding officer red handed and removed him from the election duty while he was casting votes in favour of Awami League.
Ruling party men led by Barisal city AL unit president Shawkat Hossain Hiron and Jasim, city unit president of Bangladesh Chhatra League, the student wing of the Awami League, took control over the Karnakathi Gausia Rahmania High School polling centre and they openly stamped ballots from the beginning of the polls.
Nearly 900 votes among 2,282 have been cast in the first two hours, Selim added.
A number of under-aged youths were also seen casting votes at Char Aicha Primary School center in the upazila.
Rajib, a class-X student of Karnakathi High School, went to Char Aicha Primary School center to cast vote in favour AL backed candidate.
Giasuddin also went to the same centre to cast vote on behalf of another voters.
When contacted, Gazi Mustafizur Rahman, presiding officer of Char Aicha Primary School center, expressed his helplessness in the prevailing situation.