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EC denies giving magistracy power to army in upazila polls
Election commission

EC denies giving magistracy power to army in upazila polls

The Election Commission on Thursday denied it has given magistracy power to the army deployed to keep order during the on-going upazila elections. It said some media reports on this issue have not been objective. The commission had rather specially directed the armed forces to take instant action for curbing violence during the elections and to make their presence visible as striking forces, said a press release signed by its director (Public relations) SM Asaduzzaman. “The Election Commission is stating that the news has not objective. In fact, the army engaged to maintain law and order in the upazila election was not given the magistracy power and there is no such legal provision for this.” The commission informed the Armed Forces Division that concerned commissioned official can take necessary steps to prevent violence as per the section 131 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898. As per the 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. At a press briefing on March 22, a day before of the 4th phase upazila elections in 91 upazilas, Election Commissioner Mohammad Abdul Mobarak, who is now performing the duties of the Chief Election Commissioner, said they asked the army members deployed in the election areas to intervene as per the section No 131 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) in case of any violence or anomaly. The commission also had 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, he noted. – UNB

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