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Dhaka Tribune

Law enforcers asked to prepare for combing operation

Update : 04 Dec 2013, 08:07 PM

The government has decided to conduct a combing operation across the country to catch the culprits carrying out sabotage in the name of politics.

The cabinet committee on law and order made the decision at a meeting held at the home ministry yesterday. 

“We have asked the law enforcement agencies, especially the police, Rab and Ansar to make preparations for carrying out combing operations which may happen anytime,” a minister who attended the meeting told the Dhaka Tribune on condition of anonymity, as he was not authorised to speak to media.

A senior official, who also took part in the meeting, said law enforcement agencies had been asked to take action with the help of intelligence agencies. Those instigating arson attacks, uprooting railway fishplates and vandalising vehicles would also be arrested, the official said.

Meanwhile yesterday, the prime minister, at a meeting with a delegation from the National Defence College, asked the army to stay alert to any sort of incident.

Because of the series of blockades called by the BNP-led 18-party alliance, law and order has deteriorated across the country. Dozens of people have been killed, and hundreds of others injured, in fierce clashes and attacks.

A senior official of the police headquarters, on request of anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune that in a bid to enact a special joint operation, “the headquarters have already deployed law enforcers in plainclothes at different sensitive points of the country.”

They were deployed to collect information about the attackers and terrorists groups, he said.

Moreover, an intelligence report mentions that the opposition will carry out killings, and bomb and arson attacks more often than on previous occasions. For this reason, they would detain and arrest the opposition leaders and activists including financiers, sources said.

While briefing journalists, Land Minister Amir Hossain Amu, who chaired the meeting, claimed that law and order was improving gradually.

He also blamed the media for not reporting the real picture. “Some 2,000 goods-laden vehicles moved between Dhaka and Chittagong, but the media did not report it.”

Amu alleged that blockaders had been highlighting negative news to the media. They call journalists and then vandalise vehicles or explode bombs so that the footage gets aired, apparently to prove that law and order is degrading.

The minister admitted that 3,000km of railway lines could not be protected due to a shortage of manpower, but he said manpower was being increased.

Industries Minister Tofail Ahmed said the opposition leaders and activists had targeted December 2 so that aspirant MP’s could not submit their nomination papers. However 1,108 candidates successfully submitted nomination papers.

He said the elections would be held in due course, and the law enforcement agencies would do whatever was needed to create a suitable atmosphere for peaceful elections. 

Among others, Jute Minister Abdul Latif Siddique, Telecommunications Minister Rashed Khan Menon, Rail Minister Mujibul Hoque, State Minister for Home Shamsul Hoque Tuku, State Minister for Law Kamrul Islam, Cabinet Secretary Musharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and Senior Secretary CQK Mustaq and the heads of the police, Rab and BGB were present at the meeting.

Hassan Mahmood Khandker, inspector general of police, told the Dhaka Tribune that the law enforcers were ready to tackle any kind of situation.

Asked about any special raids, he said they might conduct raids but would consider the situation and some technical issues. “If needed, the law enforcers will take any action for the greater interest of the people,” he added.

The detectives are also tracking mobile phones of the police’s senior officials, especially from the metropolitan areas of the seven divisions, to identify those working as informers for the opposition alliance.

Home State Minister Tuku also confirmed the action. He told the Dhaka Tribune: “We have issued proper instructions to law enforcers to investigate the ongoing situation. Stern action will be taken against those who are guilty,” the minister warned

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