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Dhaka Tribune

Army deployment should be restrained

Update : 26 Dec 2013, 06:00 PM

In response to a request from the Election Commission under Article 126 of the constitution, the army has been deployed across the country to aid civil authorities for 15 days from December 26 to January 9 to maintain law and order during the election period.

Bangladesh’s army has a proud record of professionalism and civil service under United Nations peacekeeping programs and, only this week, have been deployed to assist the UN in South Sudan.

Inside the country, the army has many times in the past been deployed to ensure security at election time, and this is something that has always proved popular with the voters. Nor should we forget the positive role that the army plays throughout the country in disaster relief and other such activities.

In short, therefore, public confidence is high that the army’s deployment for the national election, scheduled for January 5, will be helpful in assisting the civil authorities and police in co-operation with BGB and RAB and help bring the current volatile situation under some kind of control.

Even so, it is important that the Election Commission has been punctilious in making its request for the armed forces to serve in aid to the civil power and that everything is operating by the book.

The government is also right to have issued special directives to law enforcement agencies to take care to avoid any excessive use of force during the parliamentary election. It is important to exercise restraint in the use of power at all times but this is even truer during such a sensitive period.  

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