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5,000 Jamaat men to guard polling stations for their contestants

  • Published at 12:57 am December 29th, 2018
Jamaat logo
Logo of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh

Top leaders of the party, seeking anonymity said a total of 200 activists who are capable to face tough situations will take position in each of the constituencies if any trouble occurs

Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, an unregistered political party and its student wing Bangladesh Chhatra Shibir will deploy 5,000 activists at polling stations on Sunday where their party leaders are contesting, the Dhaka Tribune has learned.

This time, 25 Jamaat-affiliated leaders are contesting the polls with the 'sheaf of paddy' symbol in 300 constituencies after the High Court cleared the way for them to contest the general election.

Top leaders of the party, seeking anonymity said a total of 200 activists who are capable to face tough situations will take position in each of the constituencies if any trouble occurs.

They will play a “do or die” role as instructed by central leaders, said Shibir activists.

“Several thousands of party men have already reached the constituencies where Jamaat leaders are contesting,” said a former central leader of Shibir, seeking anonymity.

The controversial party, which lost its registration by a High Court order, have been collecting funds to operate their plan and about a billion taka have already been collected from the donors to meet election time expenditures, said party insiders.

The money will be spent for meeting the expenditure related to activities planned for Sunday’s election, they added.

The party’s central committee members for the last one week have carried out a reconnaissance on every polling centre to identify the “entry and exit points” to make the plan successful, said a Jamaat central committee member, seeking anonymity. 

There will be ten groups, each consisting of 20 people, in each of the constituencies, standing firm against the ruling party cadres to resist any unpleasant incident, a Shibir leader said.

Local Jamaat-Shibir and BNP leaders, who are dedicated and have previous experience in facing emergency situations, will lead the local teams, he added.

According to Jamaat leaders, the strategy is a repetition of the 2001 general election when the party's central leader Syed Abdullah Mohammad Taher contested from Comilla's Chouddogram area. He eventually managed to secure the seat for Jamaat.

The party had deployed a huge number of activists to guard the centres at that time. 

“The same strategy, if followed, the Sunday’s polls may bring success to the party candidates,” said a leader.

Jamaat is not worried so much about the other constituencies as they have to focus on only 25 constituencies where their leaders are contesting.

Mohammad Sakair, a former Shibir central leader, told the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday: “Jamaat-Shibir is concentrating all the constituencies but priority will be on the Jamaat candidates, and then the alliance members, if possible.”

Highly-trained Shibir members called ‘Rokon’s’ and ‘Shathi’s’ will be on duty and will be supervising their other activists working in the constituencies.

Thousands of ‘Rokons’  from Noakhali, Feni, Chittagong, and Lakshmipur will work for Abdulllah Moahammad Taher a candidate in the Comilla 11 constituency while activists from Savar, Manikganj and Dhaka will work for the Dhaka Jamaat Secretary General Safiqur Rahman who is competing in the Dhaka-15 constituency.

Khulna Division Jamaat-Shibir will work for Mia Golam Parwar in the Khulna- constituency.

When asked, Jamaat central working committee member Motiur Rahman Akhond refused to make any comment on the plan.

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