Rules violation, violence continue
Violence and violation of election code of conduct mainly by ruling Awami League men have been increasing, making AL rivals fear that the municipality polls would not be free and fair.
The Daily Star yesterday learnt about at least two incidents of violence at Hatiya and Jhenidah and allegations of breach of electoral rules in Gazipur.
Additional Regional Election Officer Abul Hossain of Khulna was suspended for violating rules and abusing his power as the returning officer of Kalaroa municipality polls.
Besides, Election Commission mobile courts yesterday jailed the pro-BNP Ulama Dal president of Singra municipality unit for trying to buy votes and fined the Awami League and BNP mayor aspirants in Bhaluka municipality for violating electoral code.
A returning officer also issued a show-cause notice on the BNP candidate in Sonargaon municipality in Narayanganj for violating electoral code.
The Election Commission yesterday issued a notification signed by Senior Assistant Secretary Sabid-ur Rahman saying that Abul Hossain, being the Satkhira district election officer and the returning officer of Kalaroa municipality, illegally accepted the nomination paper of Kalaroa upazila incumbent vice-chairman for the mayor post and declared it valid during scrutiny.
It said Abul committed a punishable offence under The Government Servants (Disciplines and Appeal) Rules, 1985, by accepting the nomination paper of the vice-chairman illegally, abusing power, and with an ill motive.
Earlier, the EC withdrew him from the posts of district election officer and returning officer for Kalaroa for the same reason.
Meanwhile, senior BNP leader Hafizuddin Ahmed yesterday alleged that the government was making a blueprint to manipulate the polls. “We would like to tell the EC to stand on its own feet and take action against those trying to create chaos in the polls and ensure that no one can be elected flexing their muscles,” he said at a discussion at the Jatiya Press Club.
He said the BNP would wage a movement if the elections were manipulated.
Supporters of the AL candidate attacked BNP candidate Khaliur Rahman in Shoilokupa municipality of Jhenidah when he went to his office at his brick kiln at Chatura yesterday afternoon.
Khalilur managed to avoid injury but five of his workers, including women, were hurt. The attackers vandalised Khalilur's motorbike.
At least five men of the ruling Awami League were injured in Hatiya of Noakhali as supporters of AL candidate and an AL dissident locked in a clash.
According to eyewitnesses, supporters of AL candidate Yusuf Ali and rebel runner Saifuddin were campaigning in Ward-8 and -9 and had locked in a brawl.
AL candidate of Sreepur municipality Anisur Rahman of Gazipur yesterday violated the election code of conduct by holding a rally blocking the road in front of the upazila AL office.
This created a huge tailback from 4:00pm in the area.
Contacted, Returning Officer Hasanuzzaman told reporters that he was preparing to issue a show-cause notice upon the candidate.
A mobile court fined AL nominated AKM Mesbah Uddin Quiyum and BNP hopeful Hatem Ali Khan Tk 5,000 each in Bhaluka municipality of Mymensingh Saturday night for pasting election posters violating rules.
The court also fined five councillor aspirants in the municipality on different grounds.
A mobile court in Singra municipality of Natore yesterday jailed pro-BNP Ulama Dal Singra municipality unit president Atikur Rahman for two months in connection with trying to buy votes, reports our correspondent there.
Executive magistrate Jahedul Alam yesterday morning jailed him after locals caught him red-handed with Tk 3,000 and a knife.
Nasir Uddin, officer-in-charge of Singra Police Station, said, Atikur went to buy votes for BNP nominated candidate Shamim Al Razi in Ward-2 and was caught by the locals.
Returning officer Tarifuzzaman issued a show-cause notice on BNP mayor candidate Mosharraf Hossain for organising a dinner for his campaigners, including BNP central leaders, at Dutta Para of Sonargaon municipality in Narayanganj on December 19.
In Savar, all mayor aspirants, except the AL nominated one, expressed fear over law and order in a views-exchange meeting with the local election conducting body.