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Troops, law enforcement agencies beef up security measures in Dhaka

  • Published at 08:59 pm December 28th, 2018

Bangladesh Army troops have been deployed in 389 upazilas and the deployment will continue till January 2

Security and law enforcement agencies have wrapped up the country with multiple layers of security measures to keep the law and order situation under control ahead of the 11th general election on Sunday.

Bangladesh Army troops, members of the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), as well as the police have set up security check-posts at various locations throughout Dhaka. The Dhaka Tribune reporters and photographers spotted troops and law enforcement personnel patrolling the Dhaka streets and searching vehicles.

Bangladesh Army troops have been deployed in 389 upazilas and the deployment will continue till January 2. Members of the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), who have been deployed since December 18, are carrying out their duties in 87 upazilas.

Army platoons were seen searching vehicles in the area on Friday. Paramilitary force BGB was found patrolling the streets throughout the capital to tackle any untoward incidents.

DMP opens four control rooms

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will monitor the entire security system during the general election period from four control rooms in Dhaka.

“The DMP has already established a well-coordinated and strong security system to make the election free of violence, safe and joyful,” said DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia during a briefing after visiting the Wills Little Flower School and College election centre on Friday. 

“Our cyber team is working to prevent rumours online. If there is any obstruction, then we will take immediate action.”

“Police also have ensured adequate security arrangements for 14 points from where ballot papers will be forwarded to polling centres,” he said.

Exception for commuters, ambulances

There is a ban on the movement of vehicles from Saturday midnight to Sunday midnight. Only designated vehicles will be allowed on the streets during this period.

However, passengers, travelling to local and international destinations, can use vehicles to go to train stations, launch terminals and airports. But they must carry necessary travel documents and produce them during checks, said Asaduzzaman.

Members of Bangladesh Army seen patrolling at Banglamotor areas of the capital on Friday; December 28, 2018 | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Ambulances carrying serious patients will not be barred, the top police officer said. 

“The traffic department has been directed to take necessary steps,” he added.

"Vehicles will be checked," the DMP chief said. "The measures are to ensure that no one can create disorder and disrupt balloting."

Security situation in Dhaka 

Military and paramilitary units, as well as the police and RAB were seen patrolling the airport, Abdullahpur, Mohakhali, Badda, Rampura and Banglamotor areas.

Navy was deployed on December 24 and will remain on the field till January 2. 

“We are prepared to tackle any violence surrounding the polls,” Bangla Tribune quoted RAB 1 chief Lt Col Sarwar Bin Kashem as saying.

The news outlet also reported quoting Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) sources that the strictest security measures have been put in place for the diplomatic zone in Gulshan.  The sources also said SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) teams and bomb disposal units have been deployed as strike forces.

Members of Border Guard Bangladesh create a security cordon at Baitul Mukarram Mosque area of Dhaka on Friday; December 28, 2018 | Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

Meanwhile, according to an Inter Services Public Relations statement, 5,000 seamen are patrolling the 11 constituencies in 18 upazilas.

The areas under navy surveillance are - Bhola Sadar, Borhan Uddin, Doulatkhan, Tojumuddin, Lalmohan, Charfashion, Monpura, Sandip, Hatia, Kutubdia, Teknaf, Barguna Sadar, Amtali, Taltali, Bamna, Betagi, Patharghata and Mongla.

The naval troops are coordinating their patrol routine with the members of local law enforcement agencies.

The official campaign of all the parties have come to an end on Friday morning and all the candidates are now preparing for the election day.