The much talked about Dhaka City South Jubo League President, Ismail Hossain Chowdhury Samrat, has apparently left his den.
Rising to fame for his alleged involvement in running casinos out of sporting clubs in Dhaka, it has been rumoured for a while that Samrat will be apprehended soon.
On the night of the initial crackdown on illegal gambling operations on September 18, Samrat hid himself in his office at Kakrail's Bhuiyan Mansion.
He was initially being guarded by hundreds of Jubo League activists, who had cordoned off the building.
Later, at around 3-3:30am on Sunday, he left his office while being accompanied by two others, in a black vehicle, said an official of Dhaka Metropolitan Police's Ramna division.
According to intelligence sources, Samrat took shelter at an influential politician's residence to delay his arrest as long as possible later that night.
There seems to be some truth to this, as from Monday morning, the number of people stationed outside his building dramatically decreased.
The few Bangladesh Chhatra League and Jubo League members waiting outside said Samrat had left. "He will be back soon. We will celebrate his return. Nothing will happen to him," said a Jubo League member.
An employee of Bipasha Hotel, the building in front of Samrat's office, said that they also had been observing that the presence of activists had shrunk significantly.
"May be Bhai [Samrat] is not here, that is why nobody is waiting outside to meet him," he added, preferring to remain anonymous.
On the morning of September 18, Samrat had tried leaving the country for "treatment," but police intercepted him and brought him back. However, as there was no evidence against him at the time, they did not arrest him.
Bangladesh Police have already issued an alert to inform all airports and ports to prevent from Samrat from going abroad.
Airport Aviation Security at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport said that there is no way for Samrat to escape, and they are on the lookout for him. Another immigration official also echoed the same view.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Director of Rapid Action Battalion's (RAB) Legal and Media wing, Lt Col Sarwar Bin Kashem, said that they too are keeping their eyes on Samrat.
"We are collecting evidence against him and he is in our radar," he added.
However, the RAB director refused to comment about whether Samrat would be arrested or not.
In addition to Samrat, other Jubo League leaders, including: Ariful Haque Babu, publicity secretary of Jubo League national committee; Md Zakir, executive member of the national committee; Kazi Anisur Rahman, office secretary of Jubo League; and Dhaka City South Jubo League Joint Secretary and Brother's Union Club President, Mohiuddin Mohi, are also under surveillance.
Several law enforcement sources said that they could be arrested at any time.
"It does not matter who Samrat is; he will be treated as per the laws": Home Minister
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said only RAB has been given the responsibility of conducting anti-casino operations to avoid harassment of the common people.
"It would be known soon whether Samrat is arrested or not," the Home Minister told reporters during a program at Sonargaon Hotel in the capital today.
At this time he further said that it does not matter who Samrat is and he will be treated as per the laws.
"Since the casino crackdown was started by RAB, the elite force will be in charge of the investigations. No other law enforcement agency should be bothered with unnecessary information," he told media.
The minister said, "We always give you the correct information. I wouldn't call the ongoing campaign an expedition, it is just another regular probe."