Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque has said that militancy and drug smuggling cannot be wiped out, but can be controlled through strict monitoring and swift action of law enforcement agencies.
“The reason why they cannot be stopped is that both are addictions. But we can keep both problems under control, as they are right now,” he said at a press conference on Saturday.
The conference was held at the new Media Center of the Police Headquarters in Dhaka on occasion of the Police Week, scheduled to begin from Monday. Shahidul inaugurated the centre on Saturday.
He said: “Militancy is an addiction. They [militants] have become addicted to the idea of going to heaven after dying.”
However, the IGP said, 57 members of suicide squads of militant groups were killed in 35 anti-militancy drives last year around the country, while more than 100 others were arrested. “Police have been on high alert since the Holey Artisan attack.”
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Journalists take note at the press conference IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque addressed at the new Media Center in the Police Headquarters in Dhaka on January 6, 2018 | Dhaka Tribune
Talking about drug smuggling and addiction, he said banned drug Yaba was a major headache.
“Yaba pills are being smuggled from neighbouring countries. It’s tough to stop that as the criminals are smuggling the drug through every means possible,” he said, adding that the law enforcement agencies were trying their level best to keep smuggling under control.
Shahidul stated that 287,254 cases were lodged across Bangladesh over drug smuggling between 2013 and 2017. “Many drug dealers were also killed in gunfight with police,” he said.
“It’s impossible for police alone to eliminate drugs and militancy from the country,” the IGP said, urging families and society to play an effective role and become more conscious about these issues.
2 Bangladeshi cops to join Interpol
At Saturday’s press briefing, IGP Shahidul also disclosed that Interpol will be recruiting two Bangladesh Police officials to share their experience in curbing transnational terrorism and militancy with the law enforcement agencies of different countries.
"Our contribution in tackling and curbing militant activities in our country in the last two years was praised on many occasions around the world. A recent meeting at Interpol also praised us.
“That’s why the Interpol secretary wanted two officials from us. We have already nominated two of our expert officers," he said.
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IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque prays along with others after inaugurating the new Media Center in the Police Headquarters in Dhaka on January 6, 2018 | Dhaka Tribune
Until now, experts of Bangladesh Police had gone to the Interpol for part-time training, but this would be the first time that they are appointing Bangladeshi officials permanently as experts in anti-militancy tactics, to train others, Shahidul added.
‘Vigilant more than ever’
The top police official also said that they had a zero tolerance policy against any kind of drug smuggling, adding that police regularly brief every community against the bad effect of narcotics.
Shahidul Hoque said they have also taken steps to make sure that no police official gets involved with drugs.
“Last year, we started a programme under which new police recruits face a drug test before joining. If the test’s result is positive, we do not recruit that individual,” he said.
The IGP declared that the highest number of awards would be given to police officials this year based on their overall performance in 2017.
Claiming the country’s law and order situation was better than previous years, Shahidul said police were more vigilant than ever and were succeeding in decimating the networks of militant outfits.
He also said that the recently opened emergency service helpline 999 was one of the most effective measures Bangladesh Police had ever taken.