The armed forces personnel started working as a strike force from yesterday to control law and order during the pre- and post-parliamentary polls days. The election will be held on January 5 next year.
According to a press statement of Inter Services Public Relations Directorate (ISPR), the armed forces personnel have been deployed to cooperate with the civil administration during the election time as per the request of the Election Commission (EC).
Initially, the army will be deployed at district headquarters. Later, the forces would be deployed at different nodal points of upazila, thana and metropolitan areas in coordination with returning officers, the statement said.
The army will be deployed for 15 days. However, the number of personnel to be deployed was not mentioned in the statement.
But EC officials think around 50,000 army men may be deployed across the country.
They said returning officers in coordination with the Armed Forces Division (AFD) officials would finalise the deployment plan.
Besides maintaining law and order during the elections, according to the statement, the army would work to ensure safe traffic movement on roads and highways as well.
A central coordination cell had been set up to help the civil administration, it added.
The decision of army deployment came from a high-profile meeting on December 20. The EC convened the meeting attended by top officials of security agencies, the AFD, deputy commissioners, and superintendents of police.
The meeting decided that the navy would operate in different coastal areas along with the army.
Meanwhile, army personnel have been seen at different districts since December 20. EC officials said army men might have arrived in different districts for winter exercise, not for election duties.
Two days after that meeting, the EC sent a letter to the AFD regarding army deployment.
Amid a boycott by the BNP-led opposition, 154 candidates have been elected unopposed since they were the lone candidates in their constituencies.
The voting will take place only in the 146 out of 300 parliamentary seats.