The much-sought-after "Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime" unit under Dhaka Metropolitan Police started functioning yesterday headed by newly appointed Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Monirul Islam.
The 600-men police unit specialising in technology has been formed to enhance police capability in combating militancy and terrorism.
The unit started its journey at a time when the country has witnessed a sharp rise in deadly attacks on bloggers, publishers, different Muslim sects, foreigners, and people of other religion.
The DMP formed the unit as a police proposal for forming "Police Bureau of Counter-Terrorism" had been put on hold for years.
The proposal for the bureau, which was sent to the home ministry in August 2011 from the police headquarters, remained shelved at the public administration ministry after the home ministry sent it there in September 2013, officials at the police HQ said.
The police officers dealing with militancy had been demanding formation of such a unit so that its members could concentrate fully on controlling militancy and deal with the menace effectively.
It had earlier been difficult for the police to check militancy as they were also engaged in curbing other crimes like stealing, robbery, murder and what not, said a top police officer.
Officials working on militancy and counter terrorism in the DMP and the Detective Branch (DB) of police in particular would be incorporated into the unit, the official added.
“The unit will work to mainly combat cybercrimes, terror financing and mobile banking related crimes,” DIG Monirul, also chief of the unit, told The Daily Star.
Officials of the unit will work under four divisions -- Counter Terrorism Division, Cyber Security and Crime Division, Crime Scene Management Division, and Transnational Crime Division.
The unit will collect information and data on militants and transnational criminals at home and abroad, monitor their activities, and arrest them, police sources say.
They add the officials with specialties and foreign training on counter-terrorism will be posted in the unit.
Members from Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), bomb disposal unit, and the dog squad will also be included, they say.
The unit will also have an additional DIG, four deputy commissioners, 10 additional deputy commissioners and 20 assistant commissioners.
The rest would be inspectors, sub-inspectors, assistant sub-inspectors and constables.