Armed forces deployed across Bangladesh ahead of 12th parliamentary polls

NEWS DESK

With the aim of avoiding any untoward situation centering on the January 7 general election and holding the polls freely and fairly, the armed forces were deployed across the country on Wednesday morning.

They will be available for special duties relating to the 12th parliamentary election till January 10.

In a media release on Tuesday, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Directorate said: “Armed forces are to remain deployed from Wednesday to January 10 to ensure peace and order before, during and after election day.”

They are deployed in a bid to assist the local civil administration in holding a free, fair and peaceful election as per Section 126 of the constitution’s “In Aid to the Civil Power.”

In light of the development, troops were patrolling Dhaka’s Banani area on Wednesday morning.

Upon request from the returning officers and through coordination with stakeholders, the area-based deployment has been completed, noted the ISPR.

Personnel of the Bangladesh Army are assigned to 62 districts, while Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) alone will perform duties in 45 upazilas.

BGB Director General Maj Gen AKM Nazmul Hasan on Wednesday instructed the members of the paramilitary force to remain alert to resist any violence and sabotage over the election.

He inspected the BGB election base camps in Shariatpur and Madaripur.

Moreover, the army in coordination with BGB and Coast Guard will be on duty in 47 bordering and four coastal upazilas.

More than 3,000 members of the Bangladesh Navy will remain deployed in 19 upazilas of six coastal districts, including Bhola, Barguna and Bagerhat. The upazilas cover 11 constituencies.

Six frigates have also been booked for electoral duties.

The Bangladesh Air Force (BAF) will provide helicopter assistance to polling stations in hilly and remote areas.

Additionally, a sufficient number of BAF helicopters are ready to provide electoral assistance.

A cell in coordination with several ministries, divisions and representatives from law enforcement has been set up at the Armed Forces Division, which will remain effective until January 10.

The armed forces have taken all-out preparations to provide necessary assistance to ensure peace and order during the 12th national parliamentary election.

Earlier, the Rapid Action Battalion was deployed on December 29. Its personnel will be on duty in all parliamentary constituencies as a mobile and strike force till January 10.

Other than RAB and the armed forces, nearly 190,000 policemen have already been deployed to ensure law and order ahead of the election.

CTTC: No militancy threats

Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) chief Md Asaduzzaman on Wednesday said there is no militancy threat, attack or activities centring on the election.

“We don’t anticipate any kind of terrorist threat, attack or activities centering on the national election. Our anti-militancy operation is being continued,” he told journalists at a program in Dhaka.

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