Thursday, March 21, 2019 | ePaper

CEC alerts intelligence agencies

Prevent 2014-like polls violence

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Noman Mosharef :
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda on Thursday asked the intelligence agencies to ascertain if any third party had hands in the recent polls violence for the purpose of creating an anarchic situation like the 2014 national election violence.
"I would like to ask the intelligence agencies to dig out whether there was any third-party conspiracy in recent incidents (recent pre-polls violence)," he said while addressing a meeting over election security strategy in the city.
Top representatives from the police, Rapid Action Battalion, Border Guard Bangladesh, Ansar and VDP, intelligence agencies and the Armed Forces Division as well as 66 returning officers and superintendents of police (SPs) from all the districts joined the meeting that started around 10 am at Nirbachan Bhaban.       
The CEC said, "We can't fully ignore some apprehensions. Some incidents occurred a day after the symbol allocation... two people were killed. The two lives are very   much valuable. But why're these incidents?"
"We need to think whether there were political or social reasons behind the incidents or any conspiracy like that of 2014. Intelligence agencies will have to stay vigilant in this regard," he added.
Nurul Huda stressed the need for coming out from the blame-game culture in case of any incident and urged the law enforcement agencies not to take the law-and-order situation lightly.
The CEC said the election preparation and strategy need to be taken keeping in mind the violence unleashed during the 2014 national election.
"We shouldn't forget the situation of that election (January-5 national election). A dangerous situation was created at that time. This time we need to work out the election preparation strategy in light of those incidents," he said.
"All the forces, including the armed forces, police, RAB and BGB, were in the field during that election, but what did we see? Many people were killed and educational institutions were burnt," the CEC added.
"What was the context at that time? Why couldn't we control those? Though we didn't get scope to discuss the issues, but we'll have to keep it in mind. We shouldn't forget it," he went on.
He said all we need to remain alert to tackle the similar situation. "I hope you'll face these incidents during this election. Perform duty being impartial and of professional mentality with experiences and expertise."
About electoral voting machines (EVMs), the CEC said the Commission has a target to use the machines in all the elections. "If the EVMs can be used properly, 80 percent of election irregularities will be removed."
Noting that the EVMs will be used in the six constituencies in the 11th national election, he said the Commission will keep separate precautionary measures for the parliamentary seats.
Pointing at the law enforcement agencies and the field-level administration, the CEC asked them to recover illegal arms ahead of the election and engage BGB in the drive against the illegal arms as the force has experience in this regard.
He also asked them to strengthen surveillance over ensuring security to the minority community and the female voters in the polls.
Nurul Huda said the EC has already completed 95 percent of election work.

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