Licensed arms not be deposited, can’t be carried
Published: 2013-12-26 18:33:43.0 BdST Updated: 2013-12-26 19:11:44.0 BdST
The government has revised an order on surrender of licensed firearms before the Jan 5 general elections.
In a statement on Thursday, the Ministry of Home Affairs said those possessing legal weapons will not be allowed to carry the arms around the polling centres during the balloting.
It has a correction to its previous order that directed citizens to submit their licensed arms and ammunition to their nearby police stations or legal dealers from Dec 23 to Dec 27.
Signed by Joint Secretary Mostafizur Rahman, the revised order said the directive to submit legal weapons ahead of the Jan 5 polls had been halted until further notice.
It said licensed arms could not be carried or exhibited from Dec 27 to Jan 7 in places where voting would be held.
This time, polling will be held in 146 constituencies only as 154 single candidates had been declared uncontested winners.
However, the district magistrate can order anyone with legal arms to deposit their weapons during the polls for the sake of maintaining law and order, the order added.
In a statement on Dec 23, the Ministry of Home had asked owners of licensed firearms to deposit their weapons.
The firearms and ammunition will remain deposited until Jan 15, the statement had said.
It had said the owners would not be allowed to carry their weapons from Dec 27 to Jan 15.
The order even warned of punitive measures against those who would defy it.
The embargo will not be applicable to members of law-enforcing agencies.
Asked about the reversal of the previous order, Election Commission's Senior Secretary Farhad Uddin said the Representation of People Order (RPO) did not have any provision for mandatory deposit of legal firearms during the polls.
But, for the sake of maintaining law and order, the home ministry takes measures as per the Arms Act during the general election.
Farhad Uddin said the EC on Dec 20 had decided to impose a temporary embargo on carrying licensed weapons during the polls.
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