Bangladesh Police has withdrawn the officer-in-charge of Kalaroa police station in south-western district Satkhira for seeking vote for boat, the election symbol for ruling Awami League, in the upcoming general election slated for December 30.
Sheikh Maruf Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Kalaroa police station, has been closed to Satkhira police lines as the allegation brought against him was proved, Satkhria additional superintendent of police Md Iltutmish told reports on Saturday.
Maruf in his uniform at a public gathering at Kalaroa upazila playground on Thursday said, On behalf of the government, I am making this appeal — please cast your vote for the pro-liberation party, please cast your vote in favour of boat.
A video featuring him seeking vote went viral on social media, triggering controversy over his role as a public servant.
Election observers say that the statement of the government official is totally contrary to the section 77 of Representation of the People Order, 1972.
The section stipulates that a person is guilty of undue influence, if he,-(1) in order to induce or compel any person to vote or refrain from voting, or to offer himself as a candidate, or to withdraw his candidature, at an election, directly or indirectly by himself or by any other person on his behalf,-(e) uses any official influence or governmental patronage.
Opposition Jatiya Oikya Front candidate Habibur Rahman Habib lodged a formal complaint with the chief election commissioner in Dhaka seeking action against the OC Sheikh Maruf Ahmed.
He submitted the video, photographs showing how the police station chief was joining a campaign with the ruling party candidate in the constituency and, another video showing how the oppositional activists were attacked on December 14 during electioneering.