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Election Commission has to stop gun-toting activities in election

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01st-Apr-2018       
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FROM the photos printed in more than one newspaper, the actual identity of the two BCL men carrying guns openly during the by-polls of a ward in Chittagong on last Thursday are now clear to many. Several city residents said two of the gun-toting BCL men were Mahmudur Rashid Babu and Rakib Haidar. Moreover, their social media ID also confirmed their true identity. Yet, the police need more time to identify two culprits who openly brandished firearms on the day of the by-polls. At least four persons were injured in the polling centre where the two were photographed. However, we fail to understand despite repeated confirmation about their names and political affiliations why do the police need more time to arrest and put the culprit duo behind bars?
Nevertheless, the General Secretary of Chittagong unit of BCL said that they have learned the names of the two, who had brandished firearms during the election. Organisational actions will be taken in this regard after holding a meeting with top BCL leaders. But 72 hours have elapsed and no action was taken against the culprits.
This is not the first time that party goons have tarnished our local level elections, and if this does not stop - all expectations for a free, fair and credible election in this year's December will wither away. BCL's involvement in crimes and corruption seems to have hit the ceiling in recent times - be it grabbing  tenders, plots or business opportunities - the younger members of the ruling party's student wing have become unimaginably audacious.
Barely three months ago had the unruly BCL activists called a strike inside the Chittagong University campus in an attempt to protect the prime accused of a murder case. Now besides interrupting the city's by- polls they are also indulging in internal feuds. The command of the student wing has completely broken down and the police remain reluctant following deliberate delays to take punitive actions against many BCL activists who are involved in big scale corruption and scams.
In undemocratic politics where election is not a matter of respect for vote gun-power is to be there. It is no use asking the government to restrain its student wing from not using police-power and gun-power to win elections. It will be unfair if we do not say that other candidates also try to look for gun-power but they do not have the protection of the government. The Election Commission accepts no responsibility for not making election a gun-toting affair, but it must.



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