Photo : Collected
Law enforcement agencies are gearing up for a comprehensive nationwide operation, encompassing the capital city and beyond, in the lead-up to the upcoming elections.
This operation aims to recover illicit weapons, apprehend suspected terrorists, and execute arrests based on warrants. In Dhaka alone, a formidable force of 15,000 RAB, police officers are diligently preparing for their role in this mission. Additionally, a substantial number of law enforcement personnel, totaling in the hundreds of thousands, stand ready outside Dhaka.
The deployment of members from the Ansar Guard Battalion is integral to the operation, and there is a possibility that the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) may also be included, although a final decision on their participation is pending.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Joint Commissioner, Biplab Kumar Sarkar, has officially verified this information. In his statement, he highlighted the comprehensive preparations made to guarantee that terrorist elements do not jeopardise the electoral process in any manner.
Commissioner Biplab Kumar further revealed that approximately 15,000 DMP members are dedicated to this campaign, which will unfold around the clock. The strategic approach involves specialised block raids organised according to designated areas. Moreover, a network of checkpoints will be established on roads.
Addressing a query, Commissioner Biplab Kumar Sarkar pointed out that under the guise of strikes, acts of sabotage are currently underway. He stressed that their ongoing operation is focused on apprehending these saboteurs. The commissioner highlighted the importance of addressing this specific threat to ensure the overall success of their mission.
Additionally, Commander Khandaker Al Moin, Director of RAB's Legal and Media Wing, emphasised the necessity of conducting special operations ahead of the national elections. These operations aim to recover illegal weapons and target known criminals. Commander Moin revealed that all units of RAB throughout the country will actively participate in this operation.
Commissioner Khandaker Al Moin highlighted that, in accordance with Article 126 of the Constitution, all executive departments are actively supporting the Election Commission. He underscored the commitment of RAB to implement various directives issued by the Election Commission.
Providing specific examples of RAB's contributions, Commander Moin mentioned that, since the initiation of the blockade, RAB has meticulously inspected and scored over 17,000 vehicles, encompassing both passenger and cargo vehicles, as well as oil lorries. Notably, over 200 vehicles have been safely escorted to their destinations. This proactive measure is aimed at preserving the economic chain.
The RAB official revealed that saboteurs are launching guerilla attacks from various locations. In response to this threat, RAB members have adopted a covert strategy, blending into the public by posing as passengers in public transport and strategically positioning themselves at different locations. This undercover approach has proven successful, enabling the arrest of several individuals in the act of sabotage.
Highlighting the gravity of the situation, the police headquarters has issued comprehensive instructions to Metropolitan, District, and Range Deputy Inspector Generals (DIGs) to undertake all-encompassing preparations.
As per information from the headquarters, the upcoming operation will involve a joint effort, with Battalion Ansar alongside Police RAB. Plans are in progress to potentially include the Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB). The combined force is expected to comprise approximately 100,000 members.
The source further revealed that there are over 10,000 arrest warrants for individuals in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) jurisdiction, and the nationwide figure stands at around 50,000. Additionally, a significant objective of this operation is the recovery of illegal arms.
DMP DB Additional Commissioner Haroon Or Rashid said, “DB is working to control the law and order situation. The special operation has been decided, we will conduct the operation by dividing the crime zone of Dhaka.”
Meanwhile, when asked about the preparations for the operation, Khulna Metropolitan Police Commissioner Khandkar Mozammel Haque told The Daily Messenger, "We have complete preparations."
Commissioner Krishnapada Roy of Chattogram Metropolitan Police emphasised that the recovery of illegal weapons and the apprehension of accused individuals are part of their routine tasks. He further stated that, in anticipation of the upcoming election, these operations will be intensified with the addition of extra police personnel.
Commissioner Roy stated, "Our activities are in accordance with the directives from the police headquarters."
Additionally, Sylhet Range Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Shah Mizanur Rahman Khan confirmed a similar level of preparation in their region, aligning with the broader strategy outlined by the police headquarters.