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Enforcement agencies told to arrest only criminals

india Updated: Jan 29, 2007 12:49 IST
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Bangladesh's caretaker administration has asked law enforcement agencies to hunt down only listed criminals instead of making mass arrests after the country witnessed large scale arrests during the nearly three week-long emergency.

"Rather than arresting people in hundreds like mass arrest, we've asked them (enforcement agencies) to arrest a small number of people and stressed on those who are real criminals," Law and Information Adviser Mainul Hosein told reporters on Sunday.

"Actions will be taken against those who had earlier thought they were beyond the reach of the law," Hosein said.

It is estimated that more than 30,000 people have been arrested since the state of emergency was proclaimed on January 12.

Meanwhile, in a separate meeting with editors and senior journalists Hosein was told that the media did not like rules aimed at gagging the press.

Veteran journalist ABM Musa said "after reading the law, it seems that the caretaker government does not trust the media.It has damaged the trust that has developed over the period".

"You said you trust the people and the newspapers. In reality, it isn't becoming the truth. We will not comply with your restrictions," he added.

However, Hosein said the interim government has not introduced any rule or order curbing press freedom, as the media and the people are the source of his government's power.

"I have explained to them (editors) that the emergency has a framework according to which we have the power but did not introduce any law curtailing press freedom," he said.

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