Law enforcement agencies have stepped up their surveillance to recover illegal arms ahead of the upcoming Dhaka city corporation elections.
The move aims at maintaining a congenial atmosphere during the city polls slated for February 1.Members of the police and other law enforcement agencies are on high alert to fend off any untoward incidents over the city polls.
As part of the security measures, law enforcers are keeping a close watch on hooligans and firebrands.
Security officials have information that a number of fugitive terrorists may use illegal arms to help their preferred candidates win the polls.
Top terrorists have provided their followers with a variety of firearms to flex their muscles in favour of their auspicious candidates. These weapons may be used during the elections.
Sources said detectives are in a hunt and recovery mood, conducting special operations.
In addition, surveillance has been enhanced by making a list of terrorists in different areas of Dhaka. Their movements are also being watched.According to law enforcement agencies, most wards in Dhaka have multiple rebel candidates out of party support who are using terrorists to show their prowess.
Sources said a short mobile message was sent to a candidate vying for the post of councillor in Dhaka North City Corporation on January 7.
The message read: “You are competing in the election, pay extortion or give life.”
The councilor candidate got scared when he received that message. He hurriedly informed the police at the nearest police station. No general diary was registered for fear of being reported.
Police and RAB are looking for that fake message sender and trying to bring him under the law.
Sources said the terrorists target business councilor candidates. They send small note and demand extortion.
Moshiur Rahman, Deputy Commissioner of Detective Branch (DB) police, said it is not seen now that somebody occupy vote centre with weapons or any of the candidates contesting the polls walk with arms.
“It is normal for the candidates to have a party conflict. We are careful that any unpleasant events do not spiral out of control,” he added.
About the activities of top terrorists, the intelligence officer said: “No candidate has complained to us about the dominion of the evildoers. If we receive such complaint, we will take action.”
He said detectives have already started monitoring the movement of some top terrorists who are influencing the city corporation elections.
Many of these terrorists are in hideout abroad long since as they have been accused in various cases.
Lt Col Sarwar Bin Kashem, Director of Legal and Media Wing of Rapid Action Battalion, said many members of the elite force are working in plainclothes for the sake of a fair election.
“It is not just during elections, we work throughout the year to recover illegal weapons,” he added.