12:00 AM, December 19, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:17 AM, December 19, 2018

From campaign trail: Noakhali

Police to get AL men's help!

BNP-Jamaat activists termed troublemakers in cops' list

Noakhali police have drawn up a polling centre-based list of Awami League men to “take help” from them for carrying out duties on the voting day.

The list mentions the AL men as assistants of law enforcers while the BNP-Jamaat men as troublemakers in Noakhali-4. 

Sources said the list was prepared upon instructions from the police high-ups on November 29. It was sent to Dhaka on December 4.

This newspaper has obtained a copy of the list of Subarnachar upazila under the constituency.

Police, however, denied preparing such a list.

Talking to The Daily Star, a mid-ranking official at the Police Headquarters said he was unaware of the list. He, however, said the police's intelligence wing can gather such information.

The 18-page list includes the names of the polling centres, AL men with their phone numbers and BNP-Jammat men with their fathers' names and addresses.

Earlier, the Special Brach (SB) of police had reportedly gathered personal information, including political leanings, about the probable polling officials in many districts.

It had also collected similar information about the upazila nirbahi officers (UNO), sparking concern among the officials.

Many of the probable polling officials, mostly school and college teachers, said they had previously worked as presiding officer, assistant presiding officer and polling officer without having to go through such verifications.

Expressing worries over the latest list, Noakhali district BNP leaders questioned the neutrality of police. They alleged that BNP men were being arrested and harassed by law enforcers, particularly after the announcement of the polls schedule. 

Speaking at a meeting on Monday, BNP candidate Mohammad Shahjahan informed the district returning officer about the police's list.

The returning officer had called the meeting to discuss the latest situation with all candidates in the district's six constituencies.

Shahjahan urged the RO and the superintendent of police, who was present in the meeting, to take steps in this regard.

Some heavyweight candidates, including AL General Secretary Obaidul Quader and senior BNP leader Moudud Ahmed, have been contesting the polls in Noakhali.

Nizam Uddin, officer-in-charge of Char Jabbar Police Station in Subarnachar upazila, said he was unaware of any such list.

A police officer in the district said they need to prepare various lists as per demands from the high-ups. “The lists are not prepared to harass anyone,” he told this correspondent preferring anonymity.

Nurul Amin is one of 10 people named in the list for assisting police on December 30 at Char Akram Uddin Government Primary School polling centre (male).

Talking to The Daily Star over the phone, he confirmed the listing of his name. He claimed himself to be an AL supporter.

“We will be at the polling centre to help the policemen maintain law and order and prevent chaos,” Nurul said. 

He said at least five other people named in the list were local AL leaders.

AHM Khairul Anam Chowdhury Selim, president of Noakhali district AL, said he didn't know whether police have prepared such a list.

“The police will carry out its duties and we will do ours,” he said.

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