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Saturday, June 11, 2016, Jaistha 28, 1423 BS, Ramadan 5, 1437 Hijri

'Over 1,000' detained on 1st day of anti-terror crackdown
Observer Online Desk
Published :Saturday, 11 June, 2016,  Time : 10:52 AM  View Count : 42
Police have detained ‘over 1,000’ persons on the first day of a countrywide crackdown on militants.

The detainees of Friday’s operations include members of Jamaat-e-Islami, its student front Islami Chhatra Shibir and many absconding from the law.

Police could not confirm the number of members of militant outfits among the detainees. correspondents, citing police, reported at least three suspected members of the Islamist radical group Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) were detained.

Police could not confirm until midnight how many of the detainees would be shown arrested.

Deputy Inspector General AKM Shahidur Rahman told the central control room at the Police Headquarters was listing the names of the detainees, who came from across the country.

“I hope it will be possible to compile the list of those detained in the first 24 hours by 10am on Saturday,” he said.

Until evening, correspondents reported around 750 detentions. The reports of detentions kept pouring in.

Police said they would release those proved ‘innocent’ after checking information on them.

A top official at the Police Headquarters said the number was over 1,000.

“It may rise as the drive will continue overnight. We’ll be able to say it Saturday morning,” he said.

Police officials said the number of detainees cannot be called ‘higher’ because, they said, on average 800 to 900 persons see detention every day.

In the capital Dhaka alone, an average of over 150 persons are arrested daily, according to them.

The website of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) reported 199 arrests on June 8.

The decision to go tough on the extremists was taken at a meeting chaired by IGP AKM Shahidul Hoque at Police Headquarters in Dhaka on Thursday, five days after the murder of decorated SP Babul Aktar’s wife Mahmuda Aktar Mitu in Chittagong.

Mahmuda’s murder is strikingly similar to the attacks carried out by suspected Islamist militants on secular writers, bloggers, online activists and people who have differing religious views.

Ruling Awami League leaders including Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina pointed a finger at BNP and its ally Jamaat over the murders.

In reaction, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia claimed Awami League and its political allies were behind the spate of killings.

BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has questioned the crackdown, alleging it aims to suppress anyone from Awami League’s rival political parties.

The Awami League-led 14-Party Coalition has rubbished the allegation. Workers Party chief Rashed Khan Menon has said BNP has nothing to fear if it does not harbour militants.    

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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