A retired police official and his four associates were detained with Tk 7 lakh in Bogura's Sonatola early today, allegedly for distributing money for the purpose of Bogura-1 by election.
The detainees are: Md Entezar Rahman (68), retired senior assistant superintendent of police of Criminal Investigation Department and also father of an independent candidate of Bogura-1 by-election, and his four associates -- Md Rohsan Foysal (24), Md Fardin Bin-Rashid (20), Md Mikanur Islam (26), and Jamal Hossain (30), a driver.
Confirming the incident Kudrat-E-Khuda Shuvo, assistant superintendent of police (Shibganj circle), said that locals stopped a microbus carrying Entezar and associates at Sonatala Filling Station around 1:30am and found election posters of his son and a bag containing Tk 7 lakh.
Being informed by locals, police rushed to the spot and seized the microbus, ASP Shuvo said.
ASP Shuvo, Officer-in-Charge of Sonatala Police Station OC Abdullah Al Masud Chowdhury, and UNO Md Shafikur Alam were present at the spot.
When contacted, independent candidate Md Eyeasir Rahmatullah Ebtaz said, "As I am taking part in the election, my father has borrowed the money from my uncle.
"Yesterday was the last day of campaign. Therefore, my father met several notable persons in Sonatala and Sariakandi upazilas. He wanted to meet Sonatala OC yesterday afternoon but he denied to meet him at night. My father went to the police station around 10:30pm but the OC did not meet him. So, my father was waiting for the OC at the police station," Ebtaz said.
"Later, local Awami League men seized the microbus and informed police. My father has no ill motives," said candidate Ebtaz.
However, a source, seeking anonymity told our local correspondent that the candidate's father went to the police station to give the money to the OC prior to the election.
When asked, OC Abdullah Al-Masud Chowdhury said, "The candidate's father wanted to meet me at the police station. As I was very busy with the election purpose, I told him to come at night. When he went to the police station, I was busy with my circle ASP. Later, the incident happened. We had no conversation about the money."
Bogura-1 constituency (Sonatala and Sariakandi upazila) was vacant when the AL MP Abdul Mannan died on January 18.
The by-election to the constituency is scheduled to be held tomorrow (July 14).