Law enforcement agencies have said that they will be more vigilant and stricter to those trying to vandalise public properties or carry out acts of sabotage during Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami’s nationwide dawn-to-dusk shutdown on Thursday.
The party will observe the hartal in protest against the arrest and remand of its top leaders, including the ameer, nayeb-e-ameer and secretary general, and demanding their immediate release.
Since Jamaat called for the shutdown, police were alert across the country, including Dhaka, on Wednesday to prevent sabotages ahead of the strike.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) also conducted searches at check-posts in different places and intersections in the capital in the evening.
On Monday evening, police detectives had arrested nine top Jamaat leaders, including Ameer Maqbul Ahmad, Nayeb-e-ameer Mia Ghulam Parwar, Secretary General Shafiqur Rahman and the party’s Chittagong city unit Ameer Mawlana Shahjahan, from a house in Dhaka’s Uttara.
On Tuesday, Jamaat held demonstrations across the country protesting their arrests. The nine leaders were also remanded same day.
Later in the evening, the party issued a statement announcing the shutdown for Thursday, along with two other set of programmes meant for Wednesday and Friday.
Sahely Ferdous, assistant inspector general (media) at Police Headquarters, on Wednesday told the Dhaka Tribune that police were cautious and prepared to prevent saboteurs from carrying out any attacks during the shutdown.
Senior police officials said all kinds of vehicles, including motorbike, private car and CNG-run auto-rickshaw, will be stopped and searched at all check-posts throughout the capital during the shutdown to prevent any kind of untoward incident.
Additional security measures and personnel would be in place at all important locations in the city, official said, adding that plainclothesmen would also monitor the bus stands and busy intersections.
RAB's Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan also told the Dhaka Tribune that strict legal action would be taken against anyone trying to vandalise vehicles in the name of the shutdown, or disturb public safety or create mass panic.
He said all RAB battalions were instructed to prevent disorder in the areas where vandalisms or sabotages have taken place during previous shutdowns.