Some 250 security teams of police, Rab, BGB, APBn and Ansar were deployed either as mobile or striking forces in Rajshahi, Barishal and Sylhet city corporations on Saturday, two days ahead of the polls to the cities.
The security teams -– 117 mobile or striking teams comprising of police, APBn and Battalion Ansar, 87 Rab teams and 48 platoons of BGB -- will remain deployed for four days to ensure election-friendly atmosphere in the three cities.
Besides, a security team of 22-24 members will provide security to each polling station during the elections to the three city corporations to be held on Monday.
A 24-member security team, comprising seven policemen with arms, three Battalion Ansar men with arms, two embedded Ansar with arms and 12 embedded Ansar/VDP members with sticks will protect each important (vulnerable) polling centre, while a 22-member security team will guard each normal polling station, according to a recent notification issued by the Home Ministry.
In terms of security risks, there are 306 ‘important’ (Vulnerable) polling stations out of 395 in the three city corporations.
There are 114 ‘important’ polling stations out of 138 in Rajshahi City Corporation, while 80 ‘important’ stations out of 134 in Sylhet City Corporation and 112 ‘important’ stations out 123 in Barishal City Corporation.
Apart from these, an executive magistrate has been deployed in each of 87 general wards, while a judicial magistrate in each of 29 reserved wards in the three cities to take action against violation of the election code of conduct till August 1 next.
Election Commissioner Brig Gen (Retd) Shahadat Hossain Chowdhury said adequate law enforcement members and magistrates were deployed in the three cities.
He said more than 200 teams of police, APBn and Ansar, and Rab were deployed as striking force or mobile force in the election areas.
Besides, 48 platoons of Border Guard of Bangladesh (BGB) –-19 platoons in Rajshahi, 15 platoons in Barishal and 14 platoons in Sylhet -– were deployed for ensuring security in the polling areas.
Shahadat Hossain, now in Rajshahi to oversee the election, told UNB that the election atmosphere is quite good and huge security members were deployed there.
The number of voters is 3,18,138 in Rajshahi city, while 3,21,736 in Sylhet city and 2,42166 in Barishal city, according to the Election Commission.
In Rajshahi city, five candidates, including Awami League’s AHM Khairuzzaman Liton and BNP’s Mosaddek Hossain Bulbul, are in the election race for the mayoral post, while there are 160 contestants for 30 general councillor posts and 52 women contenders for 10 reserved councillor posts.
In Barishal city, seven candidates, including AL’s Serniabat Sadeq Abdullah and BNP’s Mujibur Rahman Sarwar, are contesting the election for the mayoral post, while 95 candidates are there for 30 general councillor posts, and 34 women contenders for 10 reserved councillor posts.
In Sylhet city, seven candidates, including AL’s Badar Uddin Kamran and BNP’s Arifur Rahman, are running for the mayoral post, while 127 contestants are there for 27 general councillor posts and 66 women contenders for nine reserved councillor posts.
The entry of outsiders into the election areas remained restricted since Friday’s midnight.
The curtain is set to fall on electioneering in the three cities at zero hour on Saturday midnight, 32 hours before the balloting that will start at 8am on Monday.