The Border Guard Bangladesh, a paramilitary force, has increased patrolling across the country to prevent any violence amid the ongoing opposition blockade over the January election.
The BGB deployed 181 platoons of troops on Wednesday when the election schedule was announced, and pushed the number to 229 platoons on Thursday.
At least 32 platoons were patrolling a hub of garment factories, Dhaka city, and nearby districts. Usually, 30 BGB members comprise a platoon.
While 229 platoons began patrolling different areas on Thursday morning, more have been kept on ‘stand-by,’ BGB Public Relations Officer Shariful Islam said in a statement.
The Election Commission announced a schedule for the 12th general election on Wednesday amid the blockade programme called by the BNP and its ally Jamaat-e-Islami demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The political atmosphere has heated up since Oct 28, when the BNP held a massive antigovernment rally.
Other like-minded parties expressed their solidarity with the BNP and continued to support the blockades. A number of arson attacks and cases of vandalism occurred across Bangladesh while the blockade was on.
Separately, 460 teams of the Rapid Action Battalion have been patrolling nationwide with 160 of them patrolling Dhaka.