Intelligence agencies fear vandalism and deadly clashes among rival activists of different political parties ahead of the upcoming national election.
Amid fear of violence, law enforcers are on high alert across the country, including the capital, to thwart any evil attempt to destabilise the country ahead of the 11th parliamentary polls scheduled for December 30.The detectives fear possibility of violence as the two major political alliances --- the BNP-dominated Jatiya Oikya Front and the ruling Awami League-led Grand Alliance --- look set to take control of the polling centres.
Jatiya Oikya Front leader Dr Kamal Hossain has recently reiterated his call for the people to guard the polling stations across the country.
Bangladesh Chhatra League president Rezwanul Huq Shuvon has asked party men to remain in all the 300 constituencies on the pollng day to work for ensuring peaceful voting.
In view of the threat and counter-threat by the two political alliances, intelligence agencies fear escalation of violence before the election.
Activists of Jamaat-e-Islami, a party of war criminals, and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir are also planning to create trouble ahead of the polls, detective sources said.Jamaat leaders and activists are now waiting for their party signal to go violent against the ruling party, the sources added.
During the past movement, Jamaat-Shibir men went on rampage, clashed with law enforcers and torched many motorised vehicles, including police vans, at different parts of the country.
Besides, shortly after declaring death-penalty against their central leader Delwar Hossain Sayedi, they took to the streets, got involved in deadly clashes with law enforcers at different parts of the country that left more than 150 people, including eight policemen, killed and scores injured.
Several top Jamaat leaders, including Motiur Rahman Nizami, Ali Ahsan Mujaheed, Abdul Kader Mollah and Kamaruzzaman were detained and finally their death-penalty were executed on war crime charges during the country’s Liberation War in 1971.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah said, “We’re now more cautious about reported sabotage of the Jamaat-Shibir men in Dhaka.”
“Law enforcing agencies have intensified their security measures in the capital and on its outskirts,” the DMP commissioner added. On the other hand, with drawing the polling date nearer, the number of political killing marked a rise in the country’s northern region.
Last week, at least five ruling party leaders were murdered by miscreants in four northern districts, triggering a grave concern among the ruling Awami League.
This has raised question about the role of police as most of the culprits involved in these murders still remained untraced. But the police officials claimed that the overall law and order situation is now under control.
On December 4, Awami League leader Isahak Hossain was hacked to death by miscreants at Patnitala of Naogaon. Local Awami league leaders termed it targeted killing ahead of the national poll.
On December 3, two ruling party men Lashkar Kha and Abdul Maleq Sheikh were gunned down during an intra-party clash in Pabna sadar upazila.
On December 1, Taherpur Pouro Jubo League vice-president Chanchal Kumer was killed at Baghmara in Rajshahi. Besides, on November 28, Lalpur upazila Jubo League Organising secretary Jaharul Islam was hacked to death by unknown miscreants in front of North Bengal Sugar Mills in Natore.
Police headquarters sources said fearing possible vandalism and deadly clashes, law enforcement agencies are on high alert across the country.
Additional police force, detectives and Rapid Action Battalion have been deployed soon after the announcement of the election schedule.
In addition to regular patrolling, intelligence surveillance has been heightened significantly in Dhaka and all the districts and upazilas, sources said.
Law enforcement agencies have intensified their vigilance as the election draws nearer, said sources.
Closed-circuit television cameras have already been installed in crime-prone areas and important intersections in the city. Riot police have been deployed in important roads and places frequented by political leaders and activists.
Since the announcement of the poll schedule, the presence of patrol police is also seen in lanes and by-lanes across the city.
Some senior police officials said after the Paltan incident, the law enforcing agencies were instructed to be more careful. They were asked to go to the field with all preparations, including wearing bullet-proof jackets and helmets.
RAB legal and media wing senior assistant director Mizanur Rahman Bhuiyan said, “Patrolling and operation of RAB across the country has been intensified to tackle any kind of chaos and sabotage centring the election.