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EC seeks 3-year jail for obstructing journalists in polling centres

The Election Commission (EC) has sought a maximum three-year and minimum one year jail terms, and a fine for anyone obstructing journalists from performing their duties during the upcoming national elections, Election Commissioner Brigadier General (Retd) Ahsan Habib Khan has said.

Talking to journalists at the Nirbachan Bhaban at Sher-e-Bangla Nagar in the capital on Sunday (Sept 11), Ahsan Habib Khan said a proposal has been sent to the government to amend the Representation of the People Order (RPO) for accommodating the new law.

“Since journalists play a very important role in checking irregularities in elections, we have proposed to add special provisions to the RPO to provide them security while covering the elections in polling stations,” he said.

Stating that the EC has sent proposals to the Law Ministry to make the amendments, Ahsan Habib Khan addressed journalists¬† saying, “You are our eyes and ears.”

“Instead of receiving word from us, you will gather news directly from polling stations. We have proposed a new addition to the law keeping your safety in mind.”

“If anyone obstructs you in performing your duties, harasses you, damages your equipment or tries to harm your companions, he will face minimum one year and maximum three years of jail sentences and a fine,” he stated.

Ahsan Habib Khan also said the EC has a plan to install closed-circuit television cameras at all polling centres to make the next Jatiya Sangsad elections free, fair and impartial.

Moreover, he said the EC is working to achieve confidence of all political parties.