March 18 UZ Election: Video shows AL candidate assaulted polls official | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 26, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:53 AM, March 26, 2019

March 18 UZ Election: Video shows AL candidate assaulted polls official

An Awami League chairman candidate punched on the face of an on-duty presiding officer during the March 18 upazila election in Moulvibazar's Kamalganj, according a video clip obtained by Deutsche Welle.

The clip, captured with a mobile phone, shows Rafiqur Rahman assaulting Md Ifzalur Rahman Chowdhury inside a polling centre.  

At the beginning of the 29-second clip, Ifzalur is seen sitting in a chair, talking to someone over a mobile phone. An angry Rafiqur goes near him and repeatedly asks him to hang up the call.

Rafiqur then punches on Ifzalur's face and takes away the phone, shows the clip available on DW's Bangla service website. 

The incident happened at the Dharmapur Primary School polling centre in Kamalganj.

Asked, the presiding officer said it was “just a misunderstanding”.

“I could not exactly understand what made him [Rafiqul] so angry,” he told the DW. “We reached a mutual understanding after that. It happened accidentally.”

Citing his concern over his job, Ifzalur said, “I don't want to take it to any further extent.”

Ifzalur is an assistant manager at Fulbari Tea Estate.

Rafiqur, who won the chairman election, denied assaulting the presiding officer. But he admitted that he snatched the mobile phone.

“He [Ifzalur] was sitting in the room closing the door. Journalists covering the election opened the door with the help of police. They asked him how many votes were cast. The number was 352 but he said it was 852,” the chairman-elect told the DW.

“After I entered the room, he was calling different people over phone. I asked him to stop but he did not pay any heed,” he added.

Rafiqur alleged that the officer was trying to rig votes at the centre.

Asked why he turned violent instead of lodging a complaint, Rafiqur said, “I got angry, agitated, nothing else”.

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