Security beefed up for Bangladesh polls

December 19, 2018

TEHRAN - Ahead of general election in Bangladesh, more than 20,000 paramilitary forces have been deployed across the country to prevent incidents of violence.

In recent weeks, deadly violence has claimed the lives of at least six people and left scores injured which has raised concerns ahead of December 30 election.
Many clashes have been reported in the past week as campaigning between Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's ruling Awami League and the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) gathers momentum.

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) spokesman Mohsin Reza was quoted saying that 1,016 platoons had been deployed in a bid to reinforce campaign security. Officials said there were about 20 guards in each platoon.

Election Commission secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told media that thousands more troops would be deployed from Saturday.

The move comes amid worsening showdown between the two main parties of Bangladesh that have accused each other of violence.

The opposition BNP says its candidates and supporters have been attacked by ruling party followers and accused the election commission of failing to ensure proper security.

The party has blamed police for the death of one campaigner in Dhaka who fell to his death from a rooftop. Police have denied any involvement.

BNP leader Khaleda Zia, a former prime Minister of Bangladesh, is languishing in jail over charges of corruption.

Around 100 million voters will be casting their votes in the election that comes at a critical juncture in Bangladesh's history.

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