A journalist was assaulted, allegedly by a presiding officer, when he went to cover municipality elections at a centre in Dhamrai on Monday.
Presiding Officer of Collegiate School Centre Azizul Haque snatched the mobile phone of Zohir Raihan, a staff reporter of the Bangla daily Prothom Alo, and also hurled abusive words towards him.
Prothom Alo Staff Reporter Arup Roy told reporters that Zohir and he, along with some other journalists, entered the voting centre upon receiving complaints that electronic voting machines (EVMs) are not working at the centre.
As soon as they entered, Presiding Officer Azizul Haque became agitated and charged at them saying, “Who gave you permission to enter the centre?”
He abused Zohir Raihan verbally and snatched his mobile phone when he tried to take a photo inside the centre, Arup said.
Zohir was slightly injured during the scuffle when the presiding officer was taking his mobile phone forcibly, he said, adding that the presiding officer also threatened to confine Zohir.
All the journalists went out of the centre after the presiding officer returned the mobile phone of Zohir.
Arup Roy said they are going to place a complaint in this regard.
Contacted, Monir Hossain Khan, senior election officer of Dhaka district and also returning officer of Dhamrai election, said, “We didn’t receive any complaint yet. We will take action if we receive any complaint.”
Asked about the “faulty” EVMs, he claimed that all the issues regarding the machines have been settled.
Contacted, the presiding officer claimed that he snatched the mobile phone as the journalist was secretly taking pictures of the booths.
The phone was returned to him after deleting all the photos, the presiding officer added.
He, however, denied that he misbehaved with the journalists.