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Armed forces to act when all others fail: Shahadat

Published : Friday, 28 December, 2018 at 12:00 AM  Count : 641

Election Commissioner Brig Gen (retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury on Thursday said the armed forces will act only when police, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members fail to control any untoward situation during the election.
He came up with the remark in response to a query by reporters at the Election Commission (EC) in Dhaka's Agargaon.
Shahadat's comment came a day after Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar expressed grave concern over the ongoing spate of violence ahead of the polls scheduled to be held on December 30.
Shahadat said troops will act under Code of Criminal Procedure 127-132 which states that armed forces will act only when police, RAB and BGB fails, said an EC official.
Shahadat said, "More than 5, 00,000 police, RAB, and BGB have been deployed to maintain the law and order. If they somehow fail to prevent any untoward incident, military troops will act to bring the situation under control."
Saying that violence and election cannot go hand in hand, he added, "If we cannot hold a peaceful election in a violence-free environment after 47 years of independence, the sacrifice of 30 lakh martyrs for independence and democracy will go in vain. We cannot allow this to happen."
The situation is fully under the control of the EC, he said adding that more than five lakh law enforcers have been deployed across the country.
About the writ petition filed with the High Court challenging the candidatures of 22 Jamaat men running with BNP electoral symbol Sheaf of Paddy, the Commissioner said the EC will have to follow the court order.
About the control room, he said the commission will monitor the electoral situation of 299 constituencies from the room and issue directives in case of any untoward situation.
Regarding the attacks on opposition parties, Shahadat said, "We did not find any hard evidence at the grassroots level of all allegations. We did find some facts and we are going to take action based on them."

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