Army’s para-commando team reaches in Sylhet to join anti-militancy operation

385

Sylhet, March 24: An eight-member para-commando team of Bangladesh Army has arrived to join anti-militancy operation into Shibbari at Dakkhin Surma upazila in Sylhet.

The para-commando team arrived outside the five-storeyed ‘Atia Mahal’ in the afternoon. Earlier, SWAT team arrived the spot to join the operation. SWAT team members have already watched the entire house from outside and is moving slowly to launch the raid.

Meanwhile, police said there is a woman, named Marjina among the militants inside the house. Law enforcers think that there are a number of male militants along with her. They also expressed the apprehension that the militants might have made a powerful bomb using a compressor of refrigerator.

The SWAT members arrived at the spot from Dhaka at 4:00pm.

Jalalabad Police Station’s officer-in-charge (OC) Akhtar Hossain said police urged the militants to surrender through miking from 1:00pm to 3:30pm. The militants responded to the calls from 1:48pm to 2:16pm. Since then the militants have remained silent.

Following the arrival of SWAT team from Dhaka, police are considering to launch a raid into the house. Sounds of 10 blank fire were heard between 2:30pm and 3:30pm.

There are 29 families live in 29 flats from the first floor to the fourth floor of the house. They have remained confined to the building.

Earlier, police cordoned off the five-storeyed house ‘Atia ‘Mahal’ from 2:30am on Friday. Police think that the militant suspects are staying at the ground floor of the house.

Tipped off, a team of police went the area and surrounded the five‐storey building named ‘Atia Mahal’ owned by one Ustar Ali, around 2:30am, said Harun‐ur‐Rashid, officer‐in‐charge of Dakkhin Surma Police Station.

However, residents of the adjacent houses were shifted to safer places while the shops located in the area were kept closed following the drive, said the OC.

Police are taking preparation to conduct a drive in the house, he said.

Golam Kibria, Commissioner of Sylhet Metropolitan Police, said, “There might have presence of a number of suspected militants, including female ones, on the ground floor of the building. We are trying our best to make them surrender.”

Uster Ali, owner of the house, said a man named Kawsar Ali identifying himself as an officer of private company ‘Pran Ltd’ rented the house in January and his wife’s name is Marjina.

Basudeb Banik, deputy commissioner of SMP, requested the media persons to refrain from live telecasting of the drive.

Earlier, on March 16, four suspected militants, including a female one and a six‐year‐old boy, were killed during a special raid by joint forces on a militant hideout at Premtala in Sitakunda upazila of Chittagong.