Outlaws active again in four SW districts
Cadres of outlawed parties killed at least 14 people since January 1 in Kushtia, Jhenidah, Meherpur and Chuadanga districts.
During the time, at least 20 people were injured as the outlaws blasted over 30 bombs on people, business establishments and houses.
The victims include businessmen, lessees of local markets and water bodies, and general people who protested the outlaws' activities.
Even two outlaws lost their lives due to rivalry among the criminals.
The recent killings, bomb blasts and extortion by outlaws belonging to Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF), Gono Bahini, Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP-ML) and PBCP (Lal Pataka) show their attempt to resume activities in the areas, said officials of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab).
On February 7, PBCP-ML's men killed a cadre of its rival Lal Pataka party at Loknathpur village in Damurhuda upazila of Chuadanga.
On February 13, 26 brick kiln owners of Chuadanga district in a press conference held at Chuadanga Press Club alleged that criminals introducing themselves as cadres of several outlawed party demanded over Tk one crore from them and threatened to kill kiln labourers by bombing if the money is not paid.
SDM Bricks in Chuadanga Sadar has remained closed following bomb attack by criminals on February 18 while outlaws demanded Tk 3 lakh each from Raisa Brick, To Ten Brick and MR Brick in Damurhuda upazila under the district on Tuesday night, said Abdul Motaleb, secretary of Chuadanga Brick Kiln Owners Association.
Major Mosaddek Ibne Mujib, commanding officer of Rab-12, Kushtia, said the elite force has increased vigilance as outlaws have become active in some areas of Kushtia and adjacent districts.
Two cadres of Gono Bahini were killed in an 'encounter' with Rab at Swastipur village in Kushtia Sadar upazila on February 11.
Rab said the duo had previous criminal records including killings and recently were trying to regroup the outfit's cadres in the areas. They also killed a cadre of rival Gono Mukti Fouz by slitting his throat on January 31.
A number of criminals who were earlier on the run have returned to their areas, especially ahead of the coming union parishad election, several people told this correspondent during his visit to different villages in Kushtia and Meherpur districts.
Kushtia Superintendent of Police Proloy Chisim said police and other law enforcement agencies are working to check any activity of the outlaws.