UP polls being polluted
Special Correspondent: The use of legal arms has increased in different illegal activities across the country especially centering the Union Parishad elections scheduled to be held at different places by rotation.
From influential politicians to top businessmen, contractors, terrorists, extortionists, various classes of people are using legally available arms to defeat their opponents and establish supremacy. Even these legal arms are being rented illegally. These arms are being used inextortion, political clashes and even preventing the government evictions. Killing incidents are also happening one after another with sucharms.
Meanwhile, the use of legal arms in different illegal activities during the local government pollshas been noticed. Many people using the titles of ruling partyare going around the government offices of district or upazila levels displaying their arms violating the rules with a view to create panic among the voters and opposite candidates. In addition, illegal arms have now become available among the terrorists, politicians and criminals.
According to multiple responsible sources, illegal arms dealers have become active again. All the sophisticated illegal arms are entering into the country through the borders due to lax-vigilance of the authorities concerned. Later, those are being spreadto different parts of the country.
Recently, an influential politician in Noakhali has raised question saying that there is a huge number of illegal arms in the country.
Concerned people said, even though the law enforcement agencies are conducting operations to recover the illegal arms, the number of illegal weapons is not decreasing in deed.
Sources said that, the licenses of two firearms possessed by Didarul Alam Masum, General Secretary of Awami League in Lalkhan Bazar ward of Chattogram Metropolitan City were revoked as Lalkhan Bazar Ward Councilor AFM Kabir Ahmed lodged a written complaint with the Home Ministry on July 22 about those. The councilor mentioned in the allegation that Masum had carried out illegal activities at different times using the legal arms. He appealed to stop the illegal use of legal weapons by revoking the license numbering 5444 / Double Mooring and 33 / Khulshi, which were given for special consideration.
On July 31, the public security department of the Home Ministry issued a directive to cancel Didarul Alam Masum’s firearms.
A Home Ministry source said, the ministry has received about 4,000 complaints against illegal users of legal arms in the last eight years. At the same time, criminal cases have been filed against about 500 legal arms holders across the country for using in illegal activities. It has been recommended to cancel the licenses of 318 different types’ arms. Of them, licenses of some 158 arms have been cancelled. Sources said, the use of illegal arms has also increased across the country besides the use of legal arms in illegal activities. Illegal arms are often used in rural alleys. Those are almost being used in stealing, robbery, snatching and land grabbing activities.
Many times, firearms are found in the hands of teenage gangs, which is now a big concern for the society. Drug dealers are also using arms to keep their networks active.
Crime analysts believe that, shootings occur, when there is a proliferation of illegal firearms in the country. Then arms are used for trivial reasons.
Sources said,instable situation is now prevailing in the country for various reasons including rising of unemployment and the price of essentials during the corona pandemic. Various types of crimes are increasing day by day.Sophisticated firearms are entering into the country regularly through different border areas by evading the eyes of law enforcers. Once again, firearmsare beingsupplied with the help of several unscrupulous officials working at the border. As soon as they cross the border, these arms are going into the hands of terrorists, extortionists, militants, politicians and extremists.
From petty criminals to top terrorists-godfathers are stockpiling the firearms. Many are using those with licenses. If the law enforcement agencies do not play a stronger role, it will not be possible to bring the situation under control. In addition, more surveillance at the border will have to be stepped up to prevent arms shipments from entering the country.
Criminologist Touhidul Haque said, “Criminals always keep stockpiles of arms. They just wait for befitting time. Syndicate members are bringing arms shipments to the country with the assistance of some unscrupulous members of law enforcement agencies. In this situation, the law enforcers need to have a clear idea of how many arms are out of their control. Regular operations should have to be carried out to rescue these. Otherwise, there will be a frightening situation among the common people of the society.”
“If these firearms are in the possession of the criminals, country’s people will face dire consequences. The law-and-order situation will breach. Such situation will bea bad omen for democracy,” he added.
Md Kamruzzaman, Assistant Inspector General of police headquarters’ Media and Public Relations wing said, “Police are always working hard to seize the illegal arms along with those, which are being used in illegal works after taking licenses in legal means. Besides, surveillance has been beefed up to prevent any kind of untoward incident centering the local UP polls scheduled to be held by rotation across the country. Action would be taken, if anyone uses legal arms in illegal works.”
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