Stay alert | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 25, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:18 AM, April 25, 2019

Stay alert

PM to people in the aftermath of Sri Lanka blasts

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in parliament yesterday asked people to be alert and inform law enforcement agencies about any suspected terror and militant activities without delay.

Her call comes days after blasts swept through posh hotels and churches in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, leaving 359 dead and around 500 injured.

“I have no words to condemn such terror and militant attacks,” she said before the question-answer session in the House.

“I would like to urge the people of the country to remain alert and inform the law enforcement agencies promptly if there is any abnormal activity.”

Hasina said Islam is a religion of peace but some people humiliate the religion before the world by carrying out militant activities in its name.

The prime minister said some 40 children, including Zayan Chowdhury, a grandson of Awami League presidium member Sheikh Fazlul Karim Selim, were killed in the terror attacks.

 “I don’t know what they [terrorists] want to achieve through such killings of innocent people. The children are innocent … why did they lose their lives?”

In the attacks, Zayan’s father Moshiul Haque Chowdhury Prince (Selim’s son in-law) was injured. He is now undergoing treatment at a hospital in Sri Lanka.

Prince has not been told about his son’s death, said Hasina.

The prime minister prayed for the salvation of the departed soul of Zayan and all others killed in the brutal attacks on April 21.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammad Javed Patwary yesterday directed all units of police to step up security measures and intelligence surveillance ahead of May Day, Buddha Purnima, Ramadan, and Eid-ul-Fitr.

The IGP gave the directives in a video conference with the chiefs of all police units and police high officials at the Police Headquarters (PHQ), Md Sohel Rana, assistant inspector general of police, told The Daily Star.

The two-hour long conference, from 7:00pm, was convened to review the country’s security situation in the wake of terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, according to sources.

In the meeting, the officials were instructed to be aware of homegrown small militant outfits, said a source who was present.

“We have already gathered intelligence and information from the arrested militants,” said the official, requesting anonymity. The police are now following the leads.

AIG Sohel said the law enforcers were directed to work alongside the people, the same method used before to fight militancy and terrorism. The police chief also asked the community police network be used for curbing militancy, he said.

Sri Lankan police have so far arrested 58 people, all Sri Lankans, and security remains heavy, with bomb squads carrying out several controlled explosions of suspected packages yesterday.

The Sri Lankan government yesterday acknowledged “major” lapses for its failure to prevent the attacks despite prior intelligence warnings.

In all, nine people are believed to have blown themselves up, either during the attacks or when police attempted to arrest them.

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