The Election Commission (EC) has announced plans to increase police presence at polling stations for the upcoming national elections.
Under the new plan, each polling centre will have one additional police member. Since there are around 42,000 centres, the police force will also increase by nearly 42,000 this time.
EC officials said in contrast to the previous elections, there is a plan to increase the number of police personnel to one per regular centre and two per sensitive or important centre for the elections. In each regular centre, one police member with arms and two personnel with arms in sensitive or important centres were assigned earlier. Now, the plan is to assign two police members with arms in regular centres and three personnel with arms in sensitive or important centres. The quantity of Ansar (12 individuals) and Village Police (1/2 individual) is likely to remain the same as before.
On Monday, a meeting took place between various law enforcement agencies, and as per the decisions reached during the meeting, approximately 747,322 members of various law enforcement agencies will be deployed to ensure the security of the upcoming elections, as informed by Ashok Kumar Debnath, the additional secretary of the Election Commission.
The EC held a meeting in Dhaka with various law enforcement agencies yesterday. According to the decision of the meeting, about 7,47,322 members of various law enforcement agencies will be engaged in polling security, Ashok Kumar Debnath, additional secretary of the EC, told journalists.
In the elections, there will be 516,000 personnel from Ansar; 182,091 from the police and Rab; 46,876 from the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) and 2,350 from the Coast Guard, he said.
As many as 3,000 executive magistrates may be appointed in the elections. Apart from this, as many as 1,000 judicial magistrates may also be employed.
Members of the law enforcement agencies will perform their duties for five days—two days before the polls, on election day, and two days after the elections.
In addition, the EC has plans to keep the members of the police and Rapid Action Battalion's (Rab) striking force and BGB and Coast Guard in charge of security for 13 days.
Police constables will receive an allowance of Tk400 per day. Then this bill will increase according to the rank. Police officers will get the highest bill of Tk1,606 per day. Similarly, Ansar members will get a minimum daily bill of Tk637 and the highest bill according to officer rank will be Tk1000 taka.
Similarly, for the Coast Guard, the minimum allowance will be Tk637 and the maximum will be Tk1,820 and Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) members will get Tk400 to Tk1,225.
Apart from these, some other expenses including transport bill and fuel oil cost will be added.
Though the Ansar members will be deployed in the centres for five days, they will be paid six days' honorarium. The one day extra payment will be made as the cost of transportation. EC officials said as Ansar members are not available in each district and upazila, they will be given allowance for an additional day.
Earlier, the law enforcing agencies had sought a total allocation of Tk1,071 crore for election duties.
The police force had requested the highest amount, seeking Tk430.25 crore. The Ansar sought Tk366.12 crore, the BGB requested Tk145.87 crore, Rab sought Tk50.63 crore, and the Coast Guard Tk78.62 crore.
In this context, the EC has determined these allowances. The commission will cover these expenses from the election management expenditure account. If necessary, there is an option to seek additional funds from the government.
In the first week of October, the EC prepared a probable budget for election expenses, estimating a total expenditure of Tk1,445 crore.
Previously, a budget of Tk700 crore was allocated for law and order and election management during the general elections.