Monday, March 25, 2019 | ePaper
War on drugs until situation comes under control: Minister
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday said the crackdown against drug dealers will continue until the situation comes under control.
"There is no set time frame. Even nothing has been finalised. We will do all we can. We will do what we feel is best."
The minister made the remarks to the media following a discussion reviewing security arrangements ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr at the Secretariat on Sunday.
Asked whether leaders and activists of Awami League and its associate bodies involved in drug trade will be brought to book, the minister said actions will be taken following the drug traders' list as instructed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to maintain a 'zero-tolerance' policy against drugs. "No one will be spared, no matter what party they belong to."
Without offering any details, he also said an MP is already been 'in custody'. About the deaths of drug peddlers in "crossfire", Asaduzzaman said they are going for an all-out war against drugs and will try their best to avert such situations.
Inspector General of Police Dr M Javed Patwary and other top police officials attended the meeting.
The home minister said close-circuit television cameras (CCTVs) will be installed at all key locations where Eid prayers will be offered. Additionally, round-the-clock security is being provided to all markets and shopping complexes so that people can shop without fear and no counterfeit currencies can spread, he said.
Asaduzzaman said 70 members of "Oggyan" parties (doping gangs) and 36 muggers have so far been arrested by law enforcers since the beginning of Ramadan.
The law enforcers will also remain vigilant so that no vehicle and vessel can carry excessive number of passengers, he said. Police control rooms will be set up at Kanchpur and Chandra to handle highway congestion during Eid, the minister said.
Meanwhile, at least 84 people were killed in alleged shootouts since law enforcers began anti-drug operations on May 19 under orders from the prime minister.
Human rights activists have expressed concern regarding these operations and have condemned the casualties. They have described the reported shootouts as 'extrajudicial killings'. Sunday's security meeting had come to the decision that garment workers would leave on Eid holiday in phases on Jun 12, Jun 13 and Jun 14 in order to reduce congestion on the roads, said Kamal. Garment owners have been requested to pay all salaries by Jun 7 and Eid bonuses by Jun 10.
As Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) President Siddiqur Rahman was also present at the meeting, the Home Minister urged all the RMG owners to pay Eid bonus to their workers by June 14.
To ease traffic jam, he also asked them to shut down their factories gradually between June 12 and 15.
In reply, Siddiqur said although it will be impossible to maintain a deadline, the salaries and bonuses will be paid before the Eid.