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10 November, 2018 12:29:04 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 10 November, 2018 12:08:21 PM

Security beefed up after poll schedule announcement

Saugato Bosu, Dhaka
Security beefed up after poll schedule announcement
Policemen in riot gear stand guard in front of the BNP central office at Nayapaltan in the capital yesterday as security has been beefed up across the country following Thursday’s announcement of the poll schedule. Focus Bangla Photo

The announcement of the election schedule was made amid an ongoing tussle between the Awami League-led coalition and the Jatyio Oikyafront, in which the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is the main stakeholder. As per the scheduled election date of December 23, law enforcers have started conducting nationwide drives to seize weapons and arrest potential miscreants who could create chaos during the election. According to sources in the police headquarters, police stations across the country have been told to seize illegal weapons and catch criminals.

Law enforcement agencies have strengthened security arrangements. The number of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police personnel has been increased in the capital, other metropolitan cities and districts. A special operation has been launched. Police check-posts have been set up on highways and various places. Law enforcers are monitoring movement of people, and if anything suspicious is found, people are being searched.

A drive has been started to arrest those who might be a threat for the elections. The police are also detaining suspects who may carry out acts of sabotage or create disorder. But it also cautious about avoiding harassment of the general public.

Police officers said people upholding different political ideologies are trying to destroy the democratic fabric of Bangladesh.

It is known that before elections party men show their dominance by brandishing illegal arms while campaigning. Many


fugitives come out in the open with illegal weapons.

According to the police headquarters, 5,500 weapons were seized across the country last year, and 2,208 cases were filed in this connection. However, most of the cases are pending before courts. It is taking time to prosecute the culprits due to lack of law and lack of evidence.

It is known that there are more than 500 illegal arms traders across the country. There are more than four million illegal firearms. Besides, a large quantity of explosives has been stored at various places in the country.

The police suspect that a certain group might disturb the political process with these illegal weapons and explosives. Besides, legitimate weapons can also be used illegally.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has tightened security since Wednesday. The elite force has been given the task of monitoring the social media, at least for the four months leading to the elections, and quite possibly thereafter.

Talking to The Independent, Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general (media) of the police headquarters, said: “We are conducting our operation on the basis of intelligence information. It is our regular security beef-up to keep the situation under control for the upcoming national polls. We will do everything as per the election schedule.”

Asked about deployment of forces, Rana said it will depend on instructions from the higher authorities.

He also mentioned that campaign will be regular from the announcement of the schedule. Field officials have been asked to maintain law and order, and take action against those involved in wrongdoing. “Law enforcement agencies are determined to hold a free, fair and peaceful election. If anybody tries to create chaos, action will be taken against them,” he added.

On Thrusday, the chief election commissioner (CEC), KM Nurul Huda, said more than six lakh law enforcers will be deployed across the country. Their performance and neutrality will be under watch.  “Legal action will be taken against law enforcers for failing to perform their duty,” he added.

The CEC also mentioned that Army personnel would be deployed for aiding the civil administration.





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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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