Outlaw drive in the SW soon | The Daily Star
11:00 PM, July 19, 2009 / LAST MODIFIED: 11:00 PM, July 19, 2009

Outlaw drive in the SW soon

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The government will launch a special drive in the country's south-western districts soon to combat re-emergence of outlawed outfits in the wake of growing incidents of killings in the region in recent months.
Home ministry officials said the decision to carry out the operation in 10 south-western districts was taken last month but couldn't be executed due to constraint of forces as several thousand policemen had to be deployed in trouble-torn Ashulia to quell the labour unrest.
“A combined operation will be launched in the region soon to combat crimes,” Home Secretary Abdus Sobhan Sikder told The Daily Star last week, adding that all criminal activities would be dealt with an iron hand.
At least 130 people were killed in the region in the past six months this year against only 24 in the last six months of last year, said police sources.
A total of 21 people were killed in the first 15 days of July indicating a fast slide in the law and order.
Apart from the outlaws, other criminal groups also became active after the December 29 parliamentary elections. They are involved in murders, extortions, tender manipulation, mugging, rape and robbery backed by, in many cases, the ruling party men, police said.
“The armed cadres under about 50 kingpins could stage a comeback in the region as a number of accused were released on political considerations,” said a police official based in Khulna seeking anonymity.
He said many armed cadres of outlawed outfits have also taken political shelter to evade arrest.
As many as 522 listed criminals including top leaders and some 'founders' of outlawed parties have been killed in 'crossfire' incidents since August 2004, police said.
At least a dozen outlawed parties are active in the region with unspecified number of illegal firearms under their possession. These outfits have around 5,000 cadres belonging to the following breakaway factions of Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML): Janajuddho, PBCP-red flag, PBCP-Communist War, Biplobi Communist Party (BCP), New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP), Gono Bahini (GB), Gono Mukti Fouj (GMF), Banglar Communist Party, Socialist Party (SP), Biplobi Anuragi, Chhinnamul Communist Party (CCP) and Sharbahara People's Mancha.
Shahabuddin Khan, superintendent of police of Kushtia, one of the outlaw-infested areas, said these splinter groups are back again and they have intensified their activities.
“Usually, various law enforcement agencies conduct drives in the region separately but a combined operation will surely yield better result,” he added.

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