Jamaat-Shibir activists in Rajshahi yesterday adopted an alarming tactic to evade police attention, moving around in guise of farmers or day labourers while taking part in violent activities.
Wearing lungis, vests or shirts with gamchhas on their shoulders or wrapped around their faces, Jamaat-Shibir men took part in subversive activities during their 36-hour hartal that ended last evening.
In areas where there are croplands beside the roads and highways, picketers dressed up like farmers blockaded the roads and burned tires, torched vehicles and blasted crude bombs. When police arrived, these pickets quickly moved to the fields, pretending as farmers.
On Tuesday morning, Jamaat pickets, posing as farmers, vandalised two auto-rickshaws in Belpukur. They blockaded roads by felling trees. Police found only farmers working in the fields.
Similarly, despite strict vigilance, sabotages like arson of vehicles, blasting bombs and blockades were frequent during the hartal at Harian, Belpukur, Khorkhori bypass, Airport, Kapasia, Kasiadanga and various other areas, while police failed to arrest anyone from the scenes.
Police were alerted about the disguises only when some photojournalists captured the miscreants on camera during their vandalism.
In their previous hartals, Jamaat-Shibir activists were seen posing as cricket players with bats and balls in their hands. The incident caught the attention of police and Jamaat-Shibir activists appeared to have changed their technique.
Alamgir Hossain, officer-in-charge of Detective Branch of Rajshahi Metropolitan Police, said the Jamaat-Shibir activists were changing their operation techniques like militant organisations.
“Once it was easy to detect Jamaat-Shibir by their dress, beard and cap but soon they resorted to wearing jeans pants, t-shirts with clean-shaved faces,” he said.