8,569 rounded up in 3 days

Staff Correspondent
People arrested

People arrested in the ongoing special drive are taken to a Dhaka court on Monday. — Ali Hossain Mintu

Law enforcers rounded up 8,569 people including 119 militancy suspects till 8:00am on Monday in a weeklong ‘anti-militant’ special drive beginning on Friday morning across the country.
Of them, 3,225 people, including 34 suspected militants, were held in 24 hours till Monday morning, the third day of the special drive.
Bangladesh Nationalist Party on Monday claimed that over 2,100 of its leaders
and activists were detained across the country under the current ‘combing operation’.
Earlier, 5,320 people, including 85 militancy suspects, were detained in districts and the capital in 48 hours between Friday 8:00am and Sunday 8:00am.
During visit to courts and different police stations in Dhaka and different districts, arrested people and their relatives were found alleging that they had no previous criminal record and knew nothing about allegations against them before they were taken to the police stations.
Reports received from districts as well as Dhaka city said that the arrested people include a good number of activists of opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami.
BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi at a press conference at its office on Monday said over 2,100 leaders and activists of the party were arrested across the country during current combining operation.
He alleged that the special drive was going on to arrest opposition leaders and activists to stop any further movement against the ‘illegal’ government.
Police officials, however, claimed that the arrested were mostly accused in different cases like violence, arson attack and drug peddling.
‘We are arresting people with specific charges…we are not considering what their political affiliations are,’ said police headquarters spokesperson AKM Shahidur Rahman.
He, however, said ‘We have also instructed our personnel not to harass anyone during the drive.’
A police headquarters release said that of the 34 militants arrested on the third day 25 were members of the banned Islamist outfit Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh, three of Hizb-ut Tahrir, three of Ansar-Al-Islam and remaining three of Allar Dal.
Of the rest arrested, 2,578 were wanted in criminal cases, 160 were held with illegal drugs, 454 were arrested in regular cases and 19 were held with illegal firearms, said the release.
A total of 586 motorcycles were also seized during the time, the release said.
It said that the law enforcers also seized 13 firearms, eight machetes, 33 rounds of bullets, 2 petrol bombs, 31 crude bombs, 28 ‘Jihadi Books’ and other sharp weapons.
In the wake of the recent spate of targeted killings of people, including superintendent of police Babul Akter’s wife on June 5, the police launched the countrywide special drive against ‘militants’ on Friday.
While visiting the Dhaka courts, detained hen-vendor Asgar Hossain and vegetable vendor Md Enayet Mia of Adabor told New Age that they were arrested early Monday from a dormitory at Mehedibagh area under Adabor police station.
They claimed that police arrested them on suspicion though they were not wanted in any case. ‘I came to know that I am wanted in a snatching case when I was brought to the police station,’ said Asgar.
Another detainee, Anwar Hossain, echoing him, claimed he also came to know that he was wanted in a fraud case only when he was taken to Adabor police station from his Mehedibagh dormitory.
They said that they were not involved in politics.
Another detainee Md Ataur Rahman’s relatives claimed that Shahbagh police arrested Ataur early Monday in a pending case of vandalising vehicles though they knew nothing about the case.
Chittagong office of New Age reported that 285 people including, 29 Jamaat and Islami Chattra Shibir activists, were arrested in the drive till Sunday night. Of them, Chittagong Metropolitan Police detained 62 people and the district police 223.
CMP additional deputy commissioner Anwar Hussain and Chittagong additional superintendent of police Rezaul Masud said none of the detained was militant suspect.
Our Correspondent in Barisal reported that 149 people were arrested in six districts of Barisal division on the third day of the special drive though police declined to disclose their political identity.
Humayun Kabir, Barisal range deputy inspector general of police in-charge, said most of the detained were not militant.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reported that police arrested 92 people including two suspected militants and 20 activists of Jammat and Shibir on the third day in the district.
Abhaynagar police station officer-in-charge Sheikh Nasir Uddin said they arrested two suspected militants — SM Uzzal, 32 and Mohammad Ali Munshi, 25 — from Siddipasha Ahmadia Dakhil Madrassah while they were carrying out an anti-government meeting there. ‘The two were wanted in several cases’, he added.
New Age Correspondent in Jhenaidah reported that 33 people, including two militant suspects and eight Jamaat men, were arrested on the third day.
Our correspondent in Munshiganj reported that at least 36 people were arrested in the district on the day.
Our Correspondent in Tangail reported that 70 people, including a member of JMB, were arrested in the district from Sunday morning to Monday morning.
New Age correspondent in Manikganj reported that police arrested four Jamaat men and four BNP activists from deferent areas of the district early Monday.
Our Correspondent in Moulvibazar reported that 121 people, including BNP and Jamaat leaders and activists, were arrested in the past three days of the drive in the district.
In Bogra, three suspected militants – Abdul Awal, 25, of village Atmil under Shibganj, Ahsan Habib, 36, of village Maria under Gabtali and Abu Taher, 35, of village Bamunia under Shahjahanpur and six Jamaat men were among 100 people arrested in 24 hours ending at 6:00am on Sunday.
Seven Jamaat men were arrested from different places of Feni district, reported our correspondent in Feni.

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