Wednesday, March 20, 2019 | ePaper

EC must act to ensure security to opposition men

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THE New Nation on Saturday reported that at least 300 opposition men were arrested in a span of only 48 hours on Wednesday and Thursday across the country. The opposition political parties termed the incidents as a gross violation of the level playing field. Though ensuring level playing field is a prerequisite of participatory and free election, the Election Commission ignored the mass arrest. It is alleged that, probable polling agents, opposition leaders, and a candidate were also arrested in the ghost cases that the police lodged without any incident recently. The trend will obviously blur the image of the EC and may create doubt among voters about the fair election.
In Gazipur, law enforcers arrested at least eight BNP workers, including, candidate Fazlul Haque Milon in separate cases. Meanwhile, Jatiya Oikyafront leader Dr Kamal Hossain's motorcade came under attack near the Martyred Intellectuals' Memorial in the capital's Mirpur on Thursday. At least 25 people were injured in the attack carried out allegedly by ruling party men when the eminent jurist was returning home after paying tribute to the Martyred Intellectuals. Amid continued pre-polls violence, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed said only a few such incidents took place in the country.
After announcing election schedule, the EC is the constitutional authority to run the administration, police and other relevant agencies. In this backdrop, the mass arrest of opposition men could push the country to political turmoil. The opposition men have already complained that conducive environment for a fair election is absent, and the excessive use of force by the law enforcers for obstructing opposition men is unwanted. The Chief Election Commissioner K M Nurul Huda has admitted that the incidents of attack on opposition men were embarrassing for him.  But what is significant is that, he fails to take any action against the persons who were responsible for violence.
That means, the EC has apparently failed to establish its command on administration and police. EC must issue directives to the authorities concern for taking proper initiatives to ensure security to the opposition men for the sake of level playing field. Otherwise, general people would get frightened to cast their votes.

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