Voicing frustration over the ‘widespread violence and irregularities’ in the upazila polls, BNP joint secretary general Salahuddin Ahmed on Sunday alleged that the army were not allowed to play their due role in ensuring fair elections for mysterious reasons.
“We had hoped that Army would play a neutral and proper role in the upazila polls. But the army deployment has turned out to be mere eyewash. They’re not allowed to play their due role for mysterious reasons,” he said.
Salahuddin was addressing a press briefing at BNP’s Nayapaltan central office on the fourth phase of upazila polls.
The BNP leader alleged that the government is mysteriously trying to tarnish Army’s image by its ‘puppet’ Election Commission. “The army members can’t uphold their image due to the undue influence by the government.”
He urged the government to allow the army men to work neutrally and uphold their image.
Referring to the EC’s letter to the army, the BNP leader said, “The Election Commission in a letter yesterday (Saturday) requested the Army to play their due role in controlling polls violence. But what we saw today? This gives an impression that the Army deployment is eyewash.”
He continued: “Our statement on the issue is clear that the government has made the commission a titular organization. Following the government’s mysterious role and the EC’s letter, we think evil efforts are on to stain the image of our national army.”
The commission has sent a letter to the Armed Forces Division reminding that they can exercise section 131 of the CrPC during performing the duty of the upazila elections.
As per section 131, any army commissioned officer can disperse any assembly, arrest and confine any one in absence of executive magistrate. But while it becomes practical for him to communicate with a magistrate, he shall do so and shall comply with the instructions of the magistrate.
Army deployment an eyewash: BNP