Five-tier security for polling today

December 29, 2008

Staff Correspondent
The government has put in place five-tier security with the deployment of more than 6 lakh security personnel across the country for the general elections today.
Home ministry officials said 80,567 personnel of the police, Rapid Action Battalion and the Armed Police Battalion and 466,000 Ansars personnel were deployed across the country.
This is the highest number of lawmen ever deployed for polls secu- rity in Bangladesh’s history, said ministry officials.
More than 35,000 polling centres have been set up in 299 electoral constituencies.
In the Dhaka city, 38,928 policemen and Ansars personnel have been deployed, the highest number ever for polls, the officials said.
A five-tier security arrangement has been put in place for the elections in the capital.
Forces will remain deployed in each polling centre, police teams will patrol 10 polling centres in groups, two platoons of lawmen will be kept standby in each police stations, two platoons more in each crime division headquarters and two more platoons in each of the four sub-control rooms of the police at Shahbagh, Abdul Gani Road, Chancery Police Lines at Gulsn and the Mirpur Public Order Management Division so that forces could be sent easily to any spot during emergencies, the officials said.
Sixteen teams of women police will also be put on patrol duty in all the eight crime divisions of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
Bomb disposal squad, special women police team and the Strategic Weapons and Tactics team of the Detective Branch will be kept as special support to tackle any situation. Policemen in plainclothes will also keep vigil.
Apart from the police, Ansars and Village Defence Party members, all other security forces will be
kept as striking force and they will move to anywhere whenever needed, said the home ministry
About 50,000 troops will be in place as striking force in district and upazila headquarters to fend off any trouble. They moved out of the barracks on December 18 and they were deployed on December 20.
Coast guards will deploy 18 teams at the polling centres in coastal areas, the officials said.
Major Mahmud of the Bangladesh Rifles said about 15,000 BDR personnel were deployed on polls duty, but they would remain as striking force. They will not be deployed at polling centres.
The paramilitary force will be on guard in 70 out of 87 frontier upazilas independently while they would guard the rest of the upazilas along with the army men, he said.
The home ministry officials said the deployment of law enforcers at polling centres began Sunday afternoon and they would stay at the centres overnight.
They started carrying election materials to the remote stations amid strict security.
The ballot boxes, ballot papers and other materials would be taken to remote areas in the hill tracts in helicopters, the officials said.


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