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BCL leader Azad who stuffed 43 ballots in 57 seconds sent to jail

Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) leader Azad Hossain who was allegedly involved in putting seals on ‘Boat’ symbols of 43 ballot papers in 57 seconds during the voting in Lakshmipur-3 (Sadar) by-election has been sent to jail.

Chandraganj police produced him before a court after arresting him under Section 54 early Saturday afternoon.
Later, the court passed an order sending him to Lakshmipur district jail instead of granting him bail.

A reliable police source confirmed it.

Local sources said introducing them as the members of a law enforcing agency, some people picked Azad early Friday (November 10) morning from his house at village Deopara under Chandraganj union. At that time, there was an altercation between the people who introduced them as members of a law enforcing agency and villagers. At one stage, Azad was picked up on board a motorcycle. Later, it was learnt that the members of an intelligence agency picked him up.

On November 5, voting in the by-election was held at a municipality and 115 centres of 12 unions in lakshmipur-3 (Sadar) constituency. The expelled BCL leader Azad continuous put seals on ‘Boat’ symbol at Dakkhin Khaguria Govt Primary School centre in Dighali union. A 57-minute video of the incident got viral on Facebook which showed that the BCL leader put seals on 43 ballot papers. Widespread criticism took place across the country when the news was published in the mass media.

Azad Hossain worked as a Boat worker at Dakkhin Khaguria Govt Primary School centre in Dighali union under Lakshmipur sadar upazila. He was the vice-president of Chandraganj Thana Chhatra League. Before that, he was the vice-president of Digholi union BCL. The district BCL expelled him in October last on charge of breaking the organisational discipline.

Appearing at the Election Commission in Dhaka on November 7 last, Golam Faruque Pinku, winner in the by-election with ‘Boat’ symbol and Lakshmipur district Awami League president, claimed that the youth who put seals on the ballot papers did not belong to the BCL. He is a Shibir activist. However, Pinku couldn’t provide any valid information in support of his claim.

Lakshmipur-3 seat fell vacant following the death of lawmaker AKM Shahjahan Kamal on September 30 last. The EC declared that seat vacanat on October 3 and announced the schedule of by-election on October 4. Awami League, Zaker Party, Jatiya Party and National People’s Party candidates took part in the by-election. The voting took place at a total of 115 centre through ballot papers.

Protesting the widespread irregularities and rigging in broad-daylight, the JaPa and Zaker Party candidates boycotted the by-polls on that day.

Centering those incidents, the EC has withheld gazetting the by-election results of that constituency. At that same time, the deputy commissioner (DC), District Police Super (SP) and returning officer of the by-election were directed to submit seperate reports investigating the incident seperately.

However, the concerned officials said the investigation is now going on.