Policemen asked to stand by with loaded guns | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:05 AM, November 05, 2015

Attacks on Checkposts

Bangladesh authorities ask police to stand by with guns

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The police have been asked to keep at least one cop on standby with a loaded gun at checkpoints and open fire the moment they are under attack.

The directive, which according to police is a must at every checkpost, is given afresh in the wake of the recent attacks on police.

A constable was hacked to death and another critically injured by unknown criminals at a checkpost in Ashulia yesterday. On October 22, an assistant sub-inspector of police was killed in a knife-attack by a suspected Islami Chhatra Shibir man at a checkpoint in the capital's Gabtoli. And on Tuesday night, a police patrol was fired upon by criminals in Brahmanbaria.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia issued the directive during a meeting with the deputy commissioners (DCs) of police yesterday, sources said.

All personnel of the DMP were asked to attach highest importance to self-defence.

The DMP boss also asked the DCs to ensure all personnel at checkpoints wear bulletproof vests and have other safety equipment.

The DCs, additional DCs and assistant commissioners were asked to visit checkposts at night for monitoring.

"Don't set up any checkpost if you don't have enough manpower for it," the commissioner was quoted as saying at the meeting by sources.

Police headquarters too ordered the superintendents of police (SPs) of all districts a couple of days ago to stay alert with loaded guns at checkposts and during patrols and drives, said a number of SPs.

"In the wake of recent attacks, we have taken the highest level of security measures," said an SP, wishing anonymity.

"These are common guidelines for the checkposts. But from time to time, the authorities alert the force to follow them," said Deputy Commissioner (Media) Muntasirul Islam of the DMP.

The real picture is, however, completely different. Policemen at checkpoints are always seen very casual. While one is frisking a person, the others are often seen gossiping or even standing at a distance not paying attention to what is going on.

'ALL ATTACKS LINKED'

Referring to the recent attacks, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said, "I think all these incidents are linked.

"All of them [attackers] are the same people, and they carry out subversive activities sometimes using the name of Ansarullah, sometimes the JMB or the IS [Islamic State].

"Even their patrons are the same," he told the press after visiting the policeman, who was injured in the Ashulia attack, at Enam Medical College Hospital yesterday.

He asked the law enforcers to be more cautious while on duty, saying that intelligence agencies have raised security warnings ahead of the "imminent verdicts" on review petitions filed by condemned war criminals Salauddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed.

RAB BOSS WARNS OF RETALIATION

Condemning the attacks on police, Benazir Ahmed, director general of the Rapid Action Battalion, yesterday said those, who are pushing the families of innocent policemen to "this tragic situation", should remember that it could happen to them as well.

"The terrorists are only a handful and they will inevitably be defeated by the great power of the state," he said while visiting the knife-attack spot in Ashulia on the outskirts of the capital.

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