Over 1,600 arrested in countrywide crackdown
Tuesday, 03 June 2008


As many as 1,637 people were arrested in a countrywide crackdown in 24 hours from Saturday morning in the country, according to a statement of the Police Headquarters.

bdnews24.com correspondents from different districts reported that law enforcement agencies continued hunts Sunday.

Local leaders of Awami League, BNP, Jamaat-e-Islami and Jatiya Party, and some union parishad chairmen with political links were among the arrestees.

Political leaders slammed the drive saying it was meant to strike panic into local leaders and supporters.

But the government described the countrywide crackdown that began Friday night as a "drive to prevent spiralling crimes".

According to the police statement, 87 were arrested in Dhaka in 24 hours.

Police spokesman Quamrul Islam said the many of the arrestees were facing arrest warrants.

Shahenur Mia, a spokesman for the home ministry, told bdnews24.com that 548 people were arrested since Saturday morning on specific charges.

He said the people facing arrest warrants were kept out of counts to avoid confusion over the number of arrestees.

In a statement, the home ministry said Sunday the drive had been launched on reports that criminal acts peaked in the country.

According to the statement: "Attacks on law-enforcement agencies, seizure of firearms from police personnel, violence in the garment industry, killings and extremist and other criminal activities spread in the country."

"Police launched a countrywide special drive on May 28 with directions to arrest criminals, seize illegal firearms in an effort to improve law and order and defuse panic among people," the statement said.

Noor Mohammad, inspector general of police, told bdnews24.com Saturday that the drive was part of efforts to prevent crime.

The country's police chief ruled out the allegation that the people were arrested on political grounds.

"The drive is targeted at listed criminals and extortionists," he said.

bdnews24.com's Brahmanbaria correspondent said joint forces had arrested the Pattan Union Parishad chairman, a UP member and a passport office agent Saturday night.

Sadar police chief Kamaluddin said the arrestees had been sued under emergency rule.

In Chandpur, joint forces detained eight people in an overnight drive.

They were arrested on various charges, including land grab, extortion and carjacking.

Joint forces arrested 22 people including two Jubo Dal leaders in Magura Saturday, Magura Sadar police chief Sagir Hossain told bdnews24.com.

The home ministry said law enforcers arrested 548 in 24 hours.

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