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Shadow of militancy over Bangladesh April 2, 2009

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For the last few weeks news related with militancy had occupied the headlines of daily newspapers of Bangladesh. The BDR carnage of 25th February shocked and shake the nation tremendously. Inquiry committees have been formed to trace out the truth behind the carnage. Col(Rt) Faroque Khan was made coordinator of the committees. He commented that there is direct evidence of militant connection with the Pilkhana evet. It is said that many of BDR arrested were members of the militant groups. People felt awe with the disclosure and worried about the impact of militancy in future. Though later he withdrew his comment saying that it is his personal assumption but people will not be sure about the connection until the final reports come out.

Mr. Anisul Hoque, President of FBCCI said that we should be cautions to tell anything in relation to militants as it will affect our image outside, may affect our export and remittance.

militants-at-bholaIn the meantime, a sizable amount of ammunition discovered from a madrasha in Bhola which is financed by an NGO based in UK. The Chief of the NGO is arrested but no case so far lodged against him. Few teachers of the madrasha are also taken into custody.

Special alerts have been taken by the law enforcing agencies. Koimi Madrashas are under watch. The English medium schools are instructed to take precautions at the entrance of the school. Out of precaution, PM cancelled her visit to the parade of police forces.

The Home Minister said that every militant will be brought out even if they remain under ground.

Some intellectuals and citizen groups are in favour of changing the present divided trends of education into one.

The law minister said in a discussion meeting that the the madrashas are the production field of militants in our country.

Many critics do not agree with the notion of the government and they think that the Govt is exaggerating the facts to create an environment to form a Regional/Bilateral Task Force to combat militancy. This group is against the regional task force as it may invite international militants to infiltrate in our country. They argue that Bangladesh is capable to control its militancy by itself and militancy is under well control now. They also alleged that some quarters are trying to potray Bangladesh as a militant state which is not true according to them.

For an ordinary citizen, there is only to wait and see the developments and pray for the best of the country and for the people.

An ordinary citizen

Courtesy for Photo: Daily Star

Mumbai carnage, Islamic terrorism & Bangladesh December 10, 2008

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World witnessed the Mumbai carnage with horror few days back which left about 200 dead and 300 wounded. It also shattered a nation, battered the relation of two countries and make the world leaders a little nervous with dimension of terrorism in the coming future.

It is blamed that Pakistan terrorist groups are directly linked with the terrorist act. India is blaming Pakistan for patronizing the terrorist, though Pakistan denies the accusation.
Though Bangladesh is not officially blamed for any link with the act, Bangladesh is also feeling the heat of the carnage. With the spilling of terrorist act to Pakistan and then to India, Bangladesh is not far away the site of carnage.

Bangladesh is not immune from the terrorist activities. In the near past, an Islamic militant group Jamiatul Mujahedin Bangladesh (JMB) made an all out effort to demonstrate their presence by blasting bombs in all over the country at a time. In the following months people of Bangladesh witnessed the bombings in the courts, killing of judges and innocent people. After months of panicky situation,many of the JMB leaders were arrested, tried in the court and given death penalty. The penalty was materialized during the tenure of the caretaker government and people felt temporary relief.

But the proponents of JMB are still there, many young people because of lack of understanding of true Islam,confused militancy as a means of achieving their ideological goal. It is found that JMB started their activities long before and was associated with major political killings in Bangladesh.

It is learnt that some of militants have participated in the Afgan war against Russia where they develop the instinct for militancy and later they grouped together to exercise the tactics in Bangladesh. It is said that JMB is more a home grown group and virtually had no contact with Al-Queda.

But it is not certain that they have been abolished and they will remain not so virulent in their attack in future. Sporadic news of their activities and arrests are still continuing.

Interestingly, a group of JMB minded Afgan mujahedin wanted to float a political party in Bangladesh in the backdrop of general election when the Election Commission invite applications for registration of the political parties. The appeal was protested from different corners and EC ultimately refused to recognize the party. But I am not sure whether it is better to allow a militant group to keep it activities open and work as political party.

A disturbing development is the breaking down of the sculpture in front of Bangladesh Airlines office in Dilkhusha, Dhaka immediately after the Mumbai massacre by some fanatics who rather advocating in favour of their wrongdoing even after arrest. With general election very close at the end of December 2008, government is also speculating nasty misdeeds by religious fanatics.

The best safeguard against the militancy is the people. The reason that the militancy so far didn’t get the root in the soil of Bangladesh is because people didn’t support and nourish it.

People will need to be kept aware and their participation will be needed to be ensured in the future also against the terrorism.

Understanding the rise of Islamic militancy in Bangladesh needs a thorough study and one can’t depend on sporadic reports of the print and electronic media to understand the philosophy and strategy of the groups. To fulfill the need on long term basis Bangladesh should have an Institute for security and strategic policy under the Ministry of Defense.

More attention should be given to make the Madrasha education modernized, practical, employment worthy,transparent and in communication with mainstream education.

And people and government must be vigilant against any suspicious activities regarding Islamic terrorism.

An ordinary citizen