Monday, June 24, 2024

Section

বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Law enforcement preventing use of illegal arms ahead of election

They conducted a special nationwide operation to recover illegal arms and ammunition from September 1 to 18

Update : 02 Nov 2018, 08:39 AM

The use of illegal weapons has increased ahead of the upcoming national election as terrorists and criminals have increased their activity. 

Consequently, law enforcement agencies have bolstered their vigilance to prevent the use of illegal firearms and illegal use of registered arms.

In keeping with this circumspection, law enforcement agencies conducted a special nationwide operation to recover illegal arms and ammunition, from September 1 to 18. 

During the operation, they recovered 471 firearms and 937 bullet cartridges. According to police headquarters, 307 people were arrested and 212 cases have been filed against them.

However, security analysts say that law enforcement agencies need to be even more alert because arms are entering the country ‍despite tight security. Should this continue, it will affect the state of law and order in Bangladesh before the upcoming national election.

Former election commissioner and security analyst Brig Gen (retd) M Sakhawat Hussain told the Dhaka Tribune that nobody can guarantee registered arms will not be used illegally. Thus, law enforcement agencies should ensure that the database is updated before the election. Legal firearms should be submitted to the law enforcement agencies in the interest of a free and fair election. 

According to members of law enforcement agencies there are many small arms factories in the remote hill area of Cox’s Bazar’s Maheshkhali upazila. Many illegal firearms also find their way into the country from neighbouring countries.      

Even though there have been drives and operations to recover illegal firearms, criminals have continuously produced arms and ammunition locally. 

Police and RAB discovered three factories in Maheshkhali on July 22 and September 23 this year. In 31 houses, local firearms and bullets were being produced. Three people involved in this were arrested.

RAB found a weapons manufacturing factory in Maheskhali's Pahartali in January of 2017. They recovered 22 weapons and weapon-related equipment. Previously, an arms factory was discovered at Chakaria in Cox's Bazar in 2016.

According to police headquarter statistics, 865 cases have been filed under the Arms Act between May and August. Of those, 245 were filed in Chittagong range—the highest for any area in the country. Khulna range registered 131 cases; Dhaka range registered 85; and Rajshahi range registered 83 cases.

After inspecting  the security of the Durga Puja, RAB Director General (DG) Benazir Ahmed said RAB will continue their operations every day before the election. 

“We will continue the operations throughout the year, without limiting them to any day or week, so that no illegal weapons are used. Even after the election, RAB’s operations will continue,” he said.

“Some quarters are trying to court chaos in the country. If anyone has any information relating to this, please, immediately inform RAB,” he added.

The issue of arms smuggling, across borders, arose after the militant attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan in 2016. The arms and ammunition used in the attack came to Dhaka hidden in a mango basket via the Chapainawabganj border. The bomb also entered the same way—but via the Jessore border.

According to sources, smugglers are pushing a large number of arms into the country from neighbouring countries.

The entry points are: Chittagong, Sitakunda, Rangunia, Ukhia, Ramu, Maheshkhali, Kutubdia, Rauzan, Cox’s Bazar, Saint Martin’s, Sajek,  Bandarban, Sandwip, Feni, Khulna, Chapainawabganj Satkhira, Jessore, Meherpur, Kushtia, Chuadunga, Rajshahi, Hili, Sylhet, as well as Ramgorh and Sabrum of Khagrachhari. 

Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) Director General Maj Gen Md Shafeenul Islam said: “We have been increasing our efforts in the last three months to stop the smuggling-in of illegal arms through the borders.”

BGB seized 53 firearms between January 1 and September 9. The smuggling continues even after a strong vigil mounted by BGB.

This correspondent tried to contact the home minister, by phone, regarding this matter. There was no response. 

However, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal talked about the pirate-surrender program in Maheshkhali, and mentioned that most of the surrendered arms were homemade. 

“Maheshkhali has become a hub for arms manufacturing factories. We want to dismantle those structures. Our law enforcement agencies are engaged in doing just that,” he added.

Police Headquarters Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Sohel Rana told the Dhaka Tribune: “We conduct drives to recover arms throughout the year. The September 1-18 operation was part of the regular drive.”

“Law enforcement agencies are also engaged in maintaining law and order. During election, to maintain the state of law and order, the agencies will adhere to the instructions given by the EC,” he added.

Fire arms recovery and case-related statistics from January to September 2018



Month

DMP

Case

Arrest

Firearm recovered

January

21

34

12

February

55

25

15

March

19

19

14

April

16

23

10

May

18

60

14

June

22

46

15

July

40

72

23

August

21

32

7

September

208

157

9

Total=

420

468

119



Month

Firearm Recovered

RAB

BGB

January

115

8

February

74

12

March

95

6

April

85

14

May

123

6

June

21

5

July

77

5

August

60

14

September

57


Total=

707

70


Note: RAB arrested 544 people between January and October 13.

Police conducted special firearms recovery operations between September 1 and 18 

Arms recovered from possessions—397

Recovery of abandoned arms—74

Police filed 212 cases nationwide in a special drive—8 of which pertain to abandoned arms that were later found. 

Police arrested 307 people in arms recovery cases; two of which were arrested after being traced back to abandoned arms.

Top Brokers

About

Popular Links

x