Dhaka: Administrative chiefs of Bangladesh`s 40 out of 64 districts have sought deployment of paramilitary and Army troops in the wake of nationwide violence over 1971 war crimes trials of top Islamist leaders that has claimed at least 67 lives since February 28.
Officials and reports said that deputy commissioners or administrative chiefs and local police administrations of the 40 districts asked for deployment of paramilitary and army troops in aide of police to the higher government authorities since Jamaat-e-Islami waged a violent campaign to thwart trial of its top leaders for liberation war time "crimes against humanity".
Bangladesh Bank also sought more security for banks and financial institutions in a letter sent to Home Ministry with its officials saying incidents of attacks on branch offices of some banks and ATM booths in various places took place recently.
In the past one week Jamaat activists attacked security people, torched trains, uprooted tracks, vandalised Hindu temples and even mosques and ransacked government offices when police and paramilitary Border Guard Bangladesh troops opened fire in areas which appeared strongholds of Jamaat.
Abdus Sobhan Shikdar, the Secretary of the Public Administration Ministry, told newsmen required steps would be taken in view of the requests by the local administrations but they were asked to take precautions themselves to avert clandestine attacks.
"The violence could spread from one area to another and therefore the UNOs (administrative chiefs of sub districts) have been asked to enforce vigils in their respective areas," Shikdar said.
Home Minister Mahiuddin Khan Alamgir last night confirmed that 67 people were killed in the countrywide violence while unofficial estimates put the figure as high as 75 during the violence since February 28 when a special tribunal handed down death penalty to JI vice president Delwar Hossain Sayedee for 1971 war crimes.