Ctg-10 by-polls: Independent candidate ‘assaulted’ at polling centre

An independent candidate for by-election to Chattogram-10 has said he was assaulted by the ruling Awami League men at two polling centres today.

Arman Ali who boycotted the election went home from a polling centre under police protection.

Arman, the only independent candidate in the by-polls, says he went to the polling centre at Dakkhin Kattali Pranhori Government Primary School in the port city’s Halishahar around 11:30am today and saw 30-40 ruling party supporters inside the centre and around 100 others right outside.

The activists were led by Debashish Nath Debu, president of Chattogram city Swachchhasebak League, Arman tells The My News.

Arman claims that he saw Debu asking voters in the queue whether they would vote for the ruling AL nominee, and made the people who would not vote for the AL leave.

“When I asked what they were doing, Debu told me to leave,” Arman says.

“His men then tried to shove me out of the premises. I approached the presiding officer first and then the policemen. Police told me to leave immediately because there was trouble inside the centre.”

Arman then went to the nearby Dr Fazlul Hajera Degree College polling centre and saw “my polling agents and voters being driven out of the centre. When I protested, the Awami League supporters assaulted me and tore my shirt.”

“Men from the Awami League and Shwechchhasebak League shoved me in front of the police.”

Arman says he then tried to contact the regional election officer and then called the officer-in-charge of Pahartali Police Station.

“I told the OC what happened. I requested him to give me protection.

“When I walked out of the centre, the OC made arrangements for me to go home under police protection.

“Now, I am at home in fear. I boycott the polls.”

About the allegations, Debashish Nath Debu says, “I don’t understand why he is making such false allegations against me. I don’t even know him.”

Debu adds that he visited many polling centres today.

Pahartali Police Station Officer-in-Charge Mostafizur Rahman says, “The candidate was sent home under police protection. No untoward incident took place at the centre.”

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