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General election: Striking force to deploy between Dec 24 and 26

  • Published at 04:37 pm December 12th, 2018
A toddler watches members of Bangladesh Army patrolling in front of a polling centre in Dhaka during a parliamentary elections in January 5, 2014 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The force will comprise officials from armed forces, BGB, coastguards and Ansar Battalion

The Election Commission will deploy the mobile/striking force – comprising armed forces, Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), Bangladesh Coast Guard and Ansar Battalion – between December 24 and 26 for election duty.

The force will also likely be on standby till January 1 after the 11th parliamentary polls, which is slated for December 30.

The dates for the force’s possible deployment were mentioned in a letter issued by the commission on Tuesday, regarding appointment of one executive magistrate with each unit of the striking force in every constituency.

It said that deployment of the magistrates with each unit between December 28 and 31 was necessary to enforce the electoral code of conduct, maintain the law and order situation and prevent criminal activities.

The letter, signed by Joint Secretary Farhad Ahmed Khan of the commission’s election management wing No 2, was sent to Public Administration Ministry’s Secretary Faiz Ahmed, asking him to take the necessary steps for the appointment of the magistrates.

Copies of the letter were also sent to a number of senior government officials, including the Cabinet secretary, the prime minister’s principal secretary and the inspector general of police.

The commission will, however, at a meeting on Thursday decide when the law enforcement officials and the striking forces will be deployed across the country ahead of the polls.

The striking force units will be kept ready in their designated places around the country to operate when called upon.

They will help over 600,000 law enforcement personnel who will be deployed during the election period to maintain law and order.

In a nationally televised speech last month, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda had said that the law enforcement officials would come from police, BGB, Rapid Action Battalion, coastguards, Ansar and Village Defense Party members.

Additionally, the army, as per the "Aid to the Civil Power" policy issued by the Defence Ministry, will be prepared to work and provide necessary aid to the civil administration in maintaining law and order, he said.

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