Vol. 5 Num 1007 Sat. March 31, 2007  
Front Page

Countrywide security alert

Security measures have been beefed up in the capital as well as elsewhere in the country on suspicion of reprisal from militants following the execution of six kingpins of the outlawed militant group Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) early yesterday.

"Security measures were stepped up and members of the law enforcement agencies have been asked to remain alert on suspicion of reprisal attacks from militant outfits," Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Naim Ahmed said.

"Around 90 police check posts including 30 inside the diplomatic zone of the capital and 114 mobile check posts have been set up in Dhaka to search people and vehicles," the DMP commissioner told The Daily Star last night.

Additional law enforcers have been deployed at different strategic points in the city, police said.

Sources said the executions of the six JMB militants were kept secret recognising the possibility of subversive acts by followers of the JMB leaders following reports from an intelligence wing.

Apart from 3,000 DMP members, members from different intelligence agencies and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) personnel were deployed at different sensitive spots in the capital to thwart any untoward incidents, the DMP chief said.

Law enforcement agencies yesterday also checked devotees at different mosques in the capital including Baitul Mukarram Mosque. They closed the road from Paltan to Dainik Bangla to vehicles from 12.30pm to 2:00pm.

"We have taken foolproof measures to avert any untoward incidents," the DMP commissioner said.

As part of this beefed-up security measures, law enforcers in the last couple of days started raiding residential hotels, slums and houses in the capital.

Security forces in Khulna Metropolitan City (KMC) and the nine upazilas in the district have also been put on high alert on suspicion of reprisal from militants, our Khulna correspondent reports.

Security measures were beefed up in and around key strategic points and other important points in Chittagong City after the JMB kingpins were executed, our Chittagong correspondent reports.

Additional forces of Rab, riot police, and other law enforcement agencies were deployed in the port city to maintain law and order.

Law enforcers were seen patrolling the port city's streets in teams, searching the luggage of bus and train passengers and searching bags belonging to pedestrians. Rab personnel were posted at all entry and exit points of mosques, bus terminals, railway stations and the airport in Chittagong. The members of the elite force thoroughly checked empty train carriages before allowing passengers to get on them.

They also thoroughly searched the bodies of devotees before allowing them to enter mosque for the Juma prayers yesterday.

Our Dinajpur correspondent reports that security measures were stepped up at all the railway stations in the western railway zone.

An official of Parbatipur Railway Junction said law enforcers have been frisking passengers and checking their luggage at the station as well as in the carriages to pre-empt any subversive acts.

A policewoman checks the bag of a woman on her way to the High Court mosque, top, and Rab men search a passenger's baggage at Chittagong Railway Station as part of beefed up security measures following hanging of six militants. PHOTO: STAR