Govt to go tougher on saboteurs

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Rozina Islam | Jan 22, 2015

The Awami League government is confident of restoring order in the country within the next 7-10 days, mainly by taking administrative measures and using political strategies.

Accordingly, it is planning to issue ‘shoot on sight’ order against arsonists and saboteurs.

Village police, dofadars, public representatives and political leaders and activists will also be engaged in stopping violent activities. The home affairs secretary has been assigned to give directives to the field level officials in this regard.

The decisions were taken at an emergency meeting of the cabinet committee on law and order chaired by industries minister Amir Hossain Amu on Wednesday.

The meeting observed the situation was under the control of the government but expressed apprehensions about clandestine attacks during the demonstrations.

A few ministers, who attended the meeting, told Prothom Alo that the government would go tough on the ‘saboteurs’.

They referred to the announcement of bounty for helping arrest of attackers and other measures as signs of the government’s ‘hard-line stance’.

The three-hour meeting also decided not to allow more than one person in a motorcycle.

A senior minister said bKash is being used for funding criminals and the government could not trace the transactions as forged documents are being used while registering for bKash accounts.

The Bangladesh Bank governor has been asked to look into the matter. The phones of bKash agents may be tapped if needed, the meeting sources said.

The meeting criticised the private television channels and wondered how they got the news of petrol bomb attacks in the early morning. Information minister Hasanul Haque Inu has been asked to look into the matter.

In the meeting, the police said a total of 7,015 people were arrested during the past 15 days of the blockade.

The police also informed the meeting that 22 people were killed in several incidents of violence while 230 people, including 87 policemen, were injured.

According to a statement of the ministry of home affairs, 120 platoons of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) personnel were deployed in 32 districts as requested by the deputy commissioners.

A total of 8,327 Ansar members have also been deployed across the country to keep train communications safe.

The meeting was told that opposition leaders and activists were using Viber and Tango for planning subversive activities dodging intelligence surveillance.

Amir Hossain Amu said some 7,015 leaders and activists of Bangladesh Jamaat-e- Islami were arrested in the past 15 days.