In the first case of its kind, Bangladesh's Election Commission has filed a case against a senior minister in the Sheikh Hasina government for "interfering" in a local poll violating election laws.
"We filed the case on late Thursday against fisheries and livestock minister Abdul Latif Biswas under the Representation of People Order (RPO) for interference in the (last month's) upazila (or sub-district) election," an Election Commission spokesman said.
He added that Biaswas's daughter and four other local Awami League leaders were also accused in the case as widespread allegations of rigging and manipulation exposed the polls held last month to controversies and the new government to embarrassment.
The commission charged Latif for "assaulting polling personnel, snatching ballot papers and capturing polling centres at Belkuchi in northwestern Sirajganj".
Commission officials and legal experts said this was the first such case in the country's history when an incumbent minister has been charged in a criminal case which could land him in jail for a term of two to seven years, or both, if he is found guilty.