Murder, abduction decline in Jhenidah, rape increases
Incidents of murder and abduction marked a decline in six upazilas of Jhenidah district last year but those of robbery hovered around the previous year's figure, according to police, and other sources.
Incidents of rape increased but extortion and tender manipulation declined, police records said.
Twenty-one people were murdered in the district last year against 59 in 2006, 49 in 2005, 67 in 2004 and 56 in 2003.
The victims included political leaders, public representatives including a municipality chairman, Union Parishad (UP) members and businessman, the sources said.
Twenty-six incidents of rape took place last year against 16 in 2006, 17 in 2005, 40 in 2004 and 57 in 2003. Police recorded only one incident of abduction during the period against two in 2006, 45 in 2005 and 47 in 2004.
Police records showed that six incidents of robbery took place last year against eight in the previous year.
As the incidents of murder, extortion, abduction and tender manipulation declined, Jhenidah police officials claimed that it was an improvement in the overall law and order situation in the crime-infested district because of vigilance by law enforcers.
“All out steps have been taken to check crimes and there has been a great success. We are hoping more success in an area where outlaws had unleashed a reign of terror for the last 34 years”, Jhenidah Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Nazrul Islam told The Daily Star yesterday.
A high ranking police official not willing to be named however said, “It will not be easy to root out crimes overnight as most of the outlaws and criminals are sheltered by leaders of major political parties here”.
A section of leaders of big political parties always shelter criminal gangs and outlaws for their use to establish supremacy in their areas and rig vote during election. This is an old tradition here, he said.
According to police and intelligence sources, at least 11 outlawed parties with about 1000 armed cadres are still active in the district. They have at least 500 firearms, which were used in crimes before promulgation of emergency in January last year, the police official said.
The outlawed parties active in the district are three factions of Purbo Banglar Communist Party, New Biplobi Communist Party (NBCP), Biplobi Communist Party (BCP), Banglar Communist Party (BCP-Laltu), Gono Mukti Fouz (GMF), Jasod Gano Bahini (JGB), Socialist Party (SP), Biplobi Anuragi (BA) and Chhinnomul Communist Party (CCP).
“Deaths of outlaws and hardened criminals in 'crossfire' with law enforcers have also helped improvement in the law and order. They (outlaws) were mainly responsible for a slide in law and order”, the police official claimed.
He said 53 outlaws and hardened criminals were killed in 'crossfire' from November 1 to December 2007.
Of the 'crossfire' victims', 50 were outlaws, two were bandit leaders and the rest were extortionists.