A special security drive will be carried out to neutralize identified criminals who are entering capital Dhaka under the guise of opposition activists ahead of the much talked about Mayoral elections to pollute the festive mood and create an atmosphere of fear in a bid to keep away enthusiastic voters, intelligence sources said Wednesday.
The sources blamed the recent minor incidents of violence on these identified criminals mainly from the country’s South and South-Western parts including Khulna, Jashore, Barisal and Kushtia in the guise of activists of the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) as well as some rebel councillor candidates.The rush of such identified fugitives, extortionists And other crimes increased as the election drew closer.
The mayoral elections to the two Dhaka city corporations are set for 01 February.
In the wake of such information, law enforcers are going for a special drive in the capital tonight (Thursday) to arrest the criminals and seize weapons.
According to different intelligence offices, over 100 listed criminals have already entered the capital from different districts and were now taking part in the election campaign under the banners of different BNP-Jamaat backed ward councilor candidates.
They were also carrying weapons to ignite bloody violence with ruling Awami League candidates, they alleged adding it was being done under a blue-print.
Several days back, DB South team arrested Ashikur Rahman, 30, from the Lalbagh Shaheb Bazar area of the capital and seized foreign-made pistol and four rounds of bullets, a shooter gun, and three bullets from him.During primary interrogation, Ashikur, a listed criminal, revealed that he had brought the weapons from the Benapole border area to Dhaka. He gave the names of some people involved in arms smuggling.
Under the banner of BNP-backed mayor and ward councilors candidates, they have already engaged in clashes with the ruling AWami League-backed mayor and ward councilor candidates in the different parts of the capital including Gabtali and Gopibagh areas.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) commissioner Shafiqul Islam told reporters that no such criminals and even outsiders would be able to stay in the capital on election day. “They will be dislodged from the capital, he added. No criminal would be spared, “he warned.
The blueprint was also aimed at making the election questionable, the intelligence sources said, adding they were wondering why BNP-Jamaat was playing such mysterious role.
With the election day getting closer, presence of hired armed cadres and militant activists have already increased in the capital.
Some independent ward councilor candidates who were not given tickets for the polls from both the Awami League and BNP are reportedly hiring different armed cadres and militants to work in their favour.
Over 100 ward councilor candidates are vying in both the city corporation polls in Dhaka as rebel candidates.
The law enforcers including detective branch are keeping a close watch on the criminals, said deputy commissioner (media ) Masudur Rahman.
Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) additional commissioner Abdul Baten said that illegal firearms are entering Dhaka from border areas in a bid to unleash violence in the civic polls slated for January 1.
He said the police were working to prevent any untoward incident.
The DB assistant commissioner said they were working to prevent violence on election day. “We will arrest any goons coming to Dhaka from outside. If anyone comes with a weapon, we’ll arrest him as soon as possible,” he added.
“These weapons were being brought in to influence and take control of the upcoming city corporation elections,” he said.
He expressed suspicion that firearms might be used on election day or during poll campaigns to create fear or impose the sway of certain candidates.
Two days ago, several people including a journalist were injured as Awami League and BNP supporters locked into a clash today in the capital's Gopibagh area during the mayoral election campaign of BNP candidate Ishraq Hossain.
Vehicles were vandalised and the two-group locked into a chase and counter-chase during the clash.