Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Police neglect led to outlaw regrouping

Neglect by law enforcers and lack of proper supervision by higher authorities helped underground operatives reorganise in the northwest region, said locals and police officials.

The May 2 attack on police in Taherpur was an outburst of reorganization, said police sources investigating the incident.

Locals in Bagmara allege police had stopped regular watch and special raids since October last year following transfer of an officer allegedly for intensive drives and netting outlaws and militants simultaneously.

"I have not seen any remarkable police raids recently, while the law enforcers harassed those who expressed anxiety over outlaws' presence," said a villager asking not to be identified.

Another source said, "A businessman received threats over phone at the office of the officer-in-charge just days before the Taherpur attack. The OC asked him not to worry saying outlaws are no longer active."

"There should be keen watch by senior police officials as the locality [Bagmara] is known as the breeding place of outlaws and militants," said a police official unwilling to be named.

"Taherpur is a risky area always preferred by outlaws as there are many routes to escape and border points to three districts," he added.

Rajshahi Divisional Deputy Inspector General Mokhlesur Rahman admitted that the police were informed of outlaw activities. "But we cannot arrest anyone without any specific charge," he said.

On the May 2 attack, he said: "Such a big attack cannot be an act of unknown people. Hundreds of people saw the attackers, but no-one came forward and no-one is cooperating." He has sought locals' assistance for information.

Bagmara OC Fayzul Islam said, "Our watch is on. About 20 outlaws and one JMB militant were held since I came here in November last year."

Activities by outlaws intensified in the northern districts since southern Purba Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) divided into two groups -- Lal Potaka and Janajuddha -- in May 2001.

Lal Potaka faction built its stronghold in remote areas connected with Chalan Beel and Haltee Beel and some other northern parts under the leadership of Dr Rafikul Islam alias Tutul Daktar of Kotchandpur of Jhenidah and Madhubabu alias Shafi of Dinajpur.

Following frequent operations by Rapid Action Battalion, people of the region had started feeling safe. But they panicked again in the wake of the May 2 attack.
Outlaw Attack on Cops

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