'Many lives were lost in many cases during elections held in the past, resulting in huge casualties. Returning officers will have to oversee this issue carefully so that lives are not lost over the polls'
Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda has instructed returning officers to remain alert about impending violence ahead of the upazila elections as it will be a “competitive one.”
"Many lives were lost in many cases during elections held in the past, resulting in huge casualties. Returning officers will have to oversee this issue carefully so that lives are not lost over the polls," he said.
The CEC issued the directives while addressing a briefing arranged for the returning officers and assistant returning officers of the third phase of the upazila parishad elections, held at Nirbachan Bhaban in the city on Tuesday.
He asked the returning officers to try to dispose of any possible conflict with personal initiative for the sake of preventing casualties.
Noting that the loss of any life is unfortunate, Nurul Huda said every life is valuable. "Since the local government elections usually turn competitive, conflicts occur in the polls. You (ROs) will have to oversee it."
Pointing at the 11th general election, he said this upazila election will be competitive like the previous election. "The upazila parishad election will not be a questionable one."
The CEC asked the returning officers to ensure a congenial atmosphere so that voters can exercise their voting rights properly in the election.
The four election commissioners and the EC Secretary also spoke on the occasion.
More than 480 upazilas, out of a total of 492 across the country, will go to the polls in five phases this time.
The EC has so far announced the election schedules for the first three phases.
According to the schedules, 87 upazilas will go to polls on March 10 in the first phase while 129 upazilas on March 18 in the second phase and 127 upazilas on March 24 in the third phase.