A leader of the Awami League youth front from Ashulia has been forcing locals to buy lottery tickets to "foot the bill of organizing a cultural event" to mark the Victory Day.
Kabir Sarkar, the convener of Jubo League's Ashulia unit, claimed that the people were not being forced.
"Organizing a cultural event costs a lot. We are raising the fund by going from door to door to sell lottery tickets," he said.
Local Awami League MP Enamur Rahman said it was illegal to sell lottery tickets using Victory Day celebration as an excuse and added that legal action would be taken soon.
A number of locals said Kabir's aides had handed over a couple of lottery ticket receipt books and forced them to pay between Tk3,000 and Tk4,000.
Trader Ayub Ali said Amzad Hossain, president of ward no 5 of Yarpur Union Parishad unit Jubo League, who is also loyal to Kabir, gave him two receipt books to sell lottery tickets.
The trader said he has already sold 100 tickets and handed over the money to Amzad.
Shahid, a resident of Ashulia, said several Jubo League leaders took away Tk4,000 from him after forcibly giving him two receipt books.
When contacted, a number of Juba League leaders and activists, requesting anonymity, said they organize cultural functions to observe Victory Day in the area every year.
Several Jubo League leaders, who declined to be named, said big funds are needed to arrange events. They decided to raise the fund by selling lottery tickets this year, they added.
Kabir said: “We are not forcibly collecting money. Rather, we are going to all the houses and requesting them to buy the tickets.”
GS Mizan, the general secretary of Dhaka district unit Jubo League, said organizing cultural events on Victory Day was a good decision.
“But we will take action against any extorting money in the pretext of selling lottery tickets [to collect funds] for Victory Day celebration programmes,” he said.