Wednesday, October 21, 2009

58 Days Into Special Drive in Southwest

Shootouts kill 63, criminals 29

By Bangladesh Media; The joint special drive of police and Rapid Action Battalion in the outlaw infested southwestern region has seen 63 deaths in "crossfire" and "shootouts" in 58 days as of yesterday. Out of 63 criminals that died in such incidents in 10 districts of Khulna division, 25 died in Kushtia alone as of October 18, the highest number of deaths in a district, says Rab statistics.

Interestingly, only 11 deaths in shootouts occurred in the region during January 1-August 21 before the drive began on August 22. Since the drive began, police and Rab have claimed that these incidents of shootouts took place between them and accomplices of alleged criminals, most of whom are members of different banned outfits.

Meanwhile, criminals have killed at least 29 persons in these 10 districts since the drive was launched two days after the inspector general of police and the Rab director general's visit to Kushtia.
Police and Rab officials in the district, however, said the number of killings in the last 56 days is "significantly lower" compared to the total 285 murders since January 1.The law enforcers have arrested 458 alleged criminals and recovered 128 firearms during the last 51 days of their drive.
Khulna range Deputy Inspector General of police Sheikh Hemayat Hossain told The Daily Star on Sunday that the drive would continue as long as it takes to contain the law and order downslide in the region to an acceptable level. Police high-ups recently gave instructions to carry out the drive more intensively, said a source.

On October 14, DIG Sheikh Hemayat visited Kushtia and had a meeting with the superintendents of police of Jessore, Magura, Kushtia, Meherpur, Chuadanga and Jhenidah. The officers-in-charge of all police stations of these six districts were also present at that meeting held at the Kushtia circuit house. A police official who attended the meeting later told The Daily Star that instructions were given to continue the drive.
Acting Commanding Officer of Rab in Khulna division Major Khalid told this correspondent over phone that all attempts are underway to bring normalcy in the southwestern region.

The law enforcers started the drive after working out a fresh list of top outlaws and their kingpins. Names of 280 operatives of different outlawed and criminal groups and 80 linchpins were on the list, which also contained names of around 150 political persons who allegedly patronise the criminals.

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