Bangladesh Army warns of propaganda against military ahead of general elections

Dhaka, PTI | Updated : 25 December 2018, 09:40 AM
It also asked the citizens not to share contents propagated by websites, Facebook pages
It also asked the citizens not to share contents propagated by websites, Facebook pages

Bangladesh Army on Monday said certain quarters were propagating a false campaign against the military through social media ahead of the December 30 general elections to tarnish its image and cautioned the citizens to remain vigilant. The army in a statement also advised all concerned to visit the official website of the Bangladesh Army and its social media accounts on Facebook and Youtube for any information regarding the force. "Efforts are underway to tarnish the image of the military propagating different campaigns in the name of army and its various agencies through fake websites, Facebook accounts and YouTube channels," the statement said.

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It also asked the citizens not to share contents propagated by websites, Facebook pages, YouTube channels that publish fake news, rumour and propaganda that are aimed at tarnishing the reputation of the army.

The statement came a day after the authorities called out the army, navy, air force and paramilitary troops to "extend all-out support" to the Election Commission for the holding of a free and fair election.

Earlier in a statement, the home ministry said the armed forces would be stationed at different "nodal points" and convenient places in every district, sub-districts and major cities, while the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police's special armed battalion would be deployed as mobile and striking forces from December 26 to January 2.

Meanwhile, Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda said the forces have been deployed to remove the fear of all including the political parties.

"The purpose of deploying the armed forces is to assure the voters (that the voting would be conducted peacefully). They will have more faith in the election once the armed forces are on patrol," he said at an election-related function at the Election Commission.

About 400-450 platoons of the armed forces are deployed in 389 areas in 270 constituencies across the country. The army will work in 389 designated areas and the navy in 18. It will also be in charge of operating the electronic voting machines (EVMs) to be used at 845 voting centres in six constituencies.

Earlier in the day, ruling Awami League general secretary and road transport minister Obaidul Quader urged everyone to refrain from making any such comment, which would make the conduct of the army controversial.

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"You earlier made controversial the Election Commission, judiciary department and law enforcement agencies, including police. Don't make the army controversial," he said in an apparent reference to the main opposition BNP led by jailed ex-premier Khaleda Zia.

"The army are on field to maintain law and order ahead of the upcoming general election," he added.

First Published: Tuesday, December 25, 2018 09:40 AM
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