Govt officials seek para-military protection

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Rozina Islam |  Jan 12, 2015

Panicked at the recent violence amid political unrest, grassroots officials of the administration have sought deployment of Border Guards Bangladesh (BGB) troops in different parts of the country.

A number of deputy commissioners sent letters to this end to the cabinet division following attacks on vehicles and government officials, and bomb blasts at houses of ministers and judges, and in the diplomatic zone.

The administrative headquarters in Dhaka, however, advised the officials to maintain more caution taking necessary steps to ensure security.

The deputy commissioners requested the home ministry (through the cabinet division) to deploy BGB men alongside the police to ensure security of them and their family members, the people and public and private properties.

They expressed apprehensions about attacks on offices or houses of the officers at district and upazila levels.

The home ministry assigned the officials concerned to take necessary steps.

When asked about the security concerns, state minister for home affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told Prothom Alo that necessary steps have already been taken. “There is no reason to be panicked at the situation,” he said.

He mentioned that order has been issued to deploy Ansar and BGB men in the districts vulnerable to attacks.

In reply to another query, the state minister said that there is no decision at the moment to deploy army troops.

As many as 12 people were killed in violence over political confrontation since 4 January when the two rival camps, the ruling Awami League and the BNP, threw programmes contesting each other for 5 January to mark one-year of holding parliamentary polls boycotted by the BNP and its allies.

The BNP-led 20-party alliance called non-stop blockade when the government did not give permission for holding a rally by the BNP and stopped BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia from coming out of her Gulshan office on 5 January.

Officials at the police headquarters said most of the attacks during the violent demonstration in 2013-14 took place in areas outside of Dhaka but this time around the capital city is being targeted for attacks.

The deputy commissioner of Narayanganj, Anisur Rahman Miah, said attacks and incidents of arson increased there in recent days.