People hired to play role of Ansars during city polls clash with police over poll day pay

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At least seven people who were hired to serve as Ansar members during the elections were injured when police fired blanks and charged batons on members who were demonstrating at the capital’s Darussalam area Wednesday evening in demand for dues from electoral duties.

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Local lawmaker Aslaumul Haque and policemen pay people hired as Ansar members to carry out election duties at martyred intellectuals’ graveyard at Mirpur in Dhaka on Wednesday night. Soyrce: New Age

Police charged batons at the Ansar affiliates, mostly engaged in other occupations, after they became agiated having waited for nine hours for their payments.

The authorities delayed in paying Tk 1,630 to each of the ‘volunteers’ for four days of poll-time duty.

The volunteers claimed that Ansar battalion members took bribes from them, from Tk 100 to 300, for enrollment of their names to the lists.

Hira Parvez, director for Dhaka of Bangladesh Ansar, said the affiliated Ansar and volunteers lost their temper on finding out they would receive TK 1,630 instead of 3,200. But they were supposed to get 1,630 for four days duty from April 26 to April 29, he said.

When they repeatedly asked for money, the Ansar battalion members misbehaved and took signatures on a blank sheet causing anger among the volunteers that finally led to clashes at about 4:30pm.

The demonstration stopped traffic movement on Mahazar road and nearby areas, said locals.

Darussalam police officer in charge Rafiqul Islam said no one was injured from gun fire, but around four were injured during the scuffle.

At about 9:00pm, local lawmaker Aslamul Haque intervened and brought all the concerned battalion officials to the place and started paying their money at Tk 1,615 per head.

The Ansar and VDP authorities ‘contractually’ employed several hundreds of local traders, garment workers, youths and even house wives for assisting the law enforcers in city corporation elections held on Tuesday amid wide-spread rigging and boycotting by major candidates.

Source: New Age