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Bangla orders early army deployment for Dec 29 polls

world Updated: Dec 16, 2008 12:50 IST
Bangla orders early army deployment for Dec 29 polls

Authorities here have ordered early deployment of army across Bangladesh as intelligence agencies feared sabotage ahead of the December 29 general elections, which will end nearly two years of state of emergency.

"We have decided to deploy the troops on December 20 instead of December 24 on the basis of reports that there is possibility that law and order might deteriorate," Election Commissioner retired brigadier Sakhawat Hossain told reporters last evening.

He said an intelligence agency have expressed fears that some militant groups could resurface to create a law and order situation.

Hossain said troops would come out of the barracks on December 18 on election duty as the state of emergency was set to be lifted on December 17.

His comments came as the elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) sources said they unearthed a plot by the militant outfit to carryout a countrywide sabotage ahead of the polls.

Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) earlier this month had issued letters to a number of politicians and law enforcement agencies and government offices reaffirming their pledges to uproot man-made or "devil's law" particularly in the north-western region.

"We suspect some quarters could use some extreme rightwing groups or their names with certain vested interests ahead of the elections,"