12:00 AM, December 17, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:56 AM, December 17, 2018

BNP for immediate deployment of armed forces

Alleges police, admin working against party

The BNP yesterday demanded immediate deployment of armed forces members, alleging that the government did not want the party to stay in the polls race and police were acting as its opposition.

“The administration and law enforcers are working together against BNP candidates and activists,” said BNP Vice-chairperson Selima Rahman.

She made the comment while talking to reporters after she lodged a complaint with the chief election commissioner's office at the Nirbachan Bhaban in Agargaon.

The EC has turned into a “puppet” and police and the administration are not paying heed to the Election Commission's directives, Selima said.

“With its back against the wall, the BNP is yet to resist any attacks. If the army is not deployed immediately, we will put up resistance. We don't want any kind of violence during electioneering,” she added.

The EC has decided that members of armed forces will be deployed on December 24 and they will work till January 2. The 11th parliamentary polls will be held on December 30.

Attacks were made on BNP leaders and activists, including Mirza Abbas and Mahbub Uddin Khokon, across the country. Khokon was injured in police firing, Selima said, adding, “We are facing obstacles to conducting our election campaign in Dhaka and other places.”

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has said there is a level playing field but the reality is different. There is no level playing field across the country at this moment. One party is campaigning countrywide, while another cannot even hang posters, she said. 

“We would like to know the CEC's definition of a level playing field.”

Under such circumstances, the EC should issue an order for stopping attacks by the law enforcers and Awami League on the BNP men to hold a fair and credible general election, the letter said.

Meanwhile, the Jatiya Oikyafront, an alliance of the BNP and some other parties, in a press statement demanded army deployment by tomorrow to “bring back discipline”.


In another development, Mahbub Uddin Khokon, BNP candidate for Noakhali-1 constituency, yesterday demanded withdrawal of Sonaimuri Police Station Officer-in-charge Abdul Majid, alleging that the OC himself fired rubber bullets on him and his supporters on Saturday evening.

In a letter to the CEC, Mahbub also alleged that Majid attempted to kill him. 

Khokon was being treated at a hospital in Noakhali.

Mahbub's son Sakib Mahbub submitted the letter to the CEC office.

In Sonaimuri, a clash between AL and BNP activists broke out around 4:45pm on Saturday as ruling party men intercepted a procession of BNP men in the bypass area. Both sides got involved in chase and counter-chase, said witnesses.

Khokon was wounded as police fired rubber bullets to quell the clash.

In a separate letter to the CEC, Dhaka-12 BNP contender Abdul Mannan alleged that some criminals were creating obstacles to his electioneering.

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