The police yesterday instructed its field-level officials to take all-out measures to dismantle militant networks across the country and prevent them from getting fresh recruits.
The superintendents of police of all the districts were given a list of 4,000 suspected militants in their areas and asked to hunt them down, say sources.
Those on the list are mostly members of banned militant outfits, including Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji), Shahadat-e Al-Hikma, Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ansarullah Bangla Team (later renamed as Ansar Al Islam).
Many of them are fugitive accused in militancy-related cases filed since 2004.
The list includes the suspected militants now out on bail and also others whose names came up during interrogation of arrested militants, the sources added.
“We have been instructed to do whatever we can to fight militancy,” said the SP of a district in the northern region.
To curb militant activities, the police high-ups asked them to step up intelligence surveillance, the SP said seeking anonymity.
The instructions came at the quarterly crime conference held at the police headquarters with Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque in the chair.
The meeting was held around a month after the deadly terror attacks at Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital's Gulshan on July 1 and near Sholakia Eidgah in Kishoreganj on July 7.
In the Gulshan attack, 20 hostages, including 17 foreigners, and two policemen were killed by militants. In Sholakia, two policemen, a housewife and a terrorist were killed.
Following the militant attacks, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on July 13 told a programme in the capital that there might be more attacks in the country and urged all to remain vigilant.
Yesterday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal joined the conference and gave his concluding speech.
During the day-long meeting, the SPs were asked to ensure adequate security for foreigners working in different development projects in their districts.
“I directed the field-level police officials to ensure such an environment where the foreigners can work without any fear,” the home boss told The Daily Star.
He said all should be alert and the law enforcers must show zero tolerance against militancy so that all plots to carry out militant attacks in the country can be thwarted.
The IGP asked the SPs to enhance security at the Key Point Installations (KPIs), particularly at power stations and important communication infrastructures.
The militancy issue dominated the meeting that continued from 10:00am till evening.
“We have been asked to increase vigilance and dismantle militant networks,” said the SP of a southern district on condition of anonymity.
At the meeting, the IGP told the police officials that there was no scope to think that militancy does not exist in the country.
“Now it has become a threat to the country,” an official who attended the meeting quoted the IGP as saying.
The IGP told the meeting that terrorism is now a big challenge for the nation, and they have to fight it together, said meeting sources.
“The meeting was told that there is a massive plan to carry out subversive activities this month as a series of state programmes are scheduled to take place,” said a senior official, wishing anonymity.
The IGP told the officials that they cannot take the issue of militancy lightly and relax.
He also applauded the role of the police force in fighting militancy.
Some SPs requested the authorities to provide them with more logistic support and help them in capacity building.
In response, the home minister assured them of meeting their demands on a priority basis.