Thursday, June 13, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

EC must fulfill promise to punish perpetrators of poll violence

Update : 02 Apr 2016, 03:09 AM
It is shameful that seven people, including a 10-year-old boy, were killed in violence during the second phase of union parishad elections on Thursday. Shubho Kazi Srabon, a fourth-grader at Madhurchar Government Primary School was tragically killed in a shooting after being taken by his uncle to watch the polling process. Around 130 other people were injured including two television journalists, amid widespread instances of violent clashes and blatant attempts to stuff ballot boxes and take control of polling stations. The Election Commission was well aware of the risk of election violence following the deadly clashes which occurred during the first phase of the UP elections two weeks ago. It had already ordered police officials to launch cases within 15 days against people involved in those irregularities, and called for extra security after a number of pre-polling day clashes. That violence and attempts to rig votes still took place despite such preparations makes it even more important for the EC and police to uphold the law. The chief election commissioner is right to say irregularities have marred the political process. The country can ill afford to risk the benefits of relative political calm being thrown away by candidates and supporters of whatever party, getting away with ballot rigging and violence.

Impunity for poll irregularities and violence must be brought to a swift end.
The government and all political parties must ensure action against every individual and group involved in cases of intimidation and attempts to occupy polling stations.
The integrity of elections demands the EC and law enforcers be supported in efforts to catch and punish all perpetrators. It is vital that the EC is able and seen to be able to fully uphold the law.
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