In the face of continuous raids by different law enforcement agencies, families of at least two dozen militants, who left home to join outfits that aim at establishing Shariah law in the country, have contacted with the detectives to return to regular life again.
Officials of the police's Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit are scrutinising their previous activities and have offered them necessary counselling as part of its de-radicalisation process.
According to sources, the families convinced the militants to leave the path of armed jihad also because of huge public condemnation following the deadly Gulshan and Sholakia attacks that created huge outrage across the world.
Families of ‘militants’ contacting RAB
The other reason behind more extremists coming back to normal life is police's crackdown on the militant dens. At least 33 supporters of New JMB, a new outfit affiliated with the Islamic State group, have been killed and a number of militants arrested during drives since the July 1 Holey Artisan Bakery attack.
With the support of the CTTC unit, at least 12 militants – all students of universities, colleges and madrasas – have so far returned to their families.
Police have declared rewards for such militants and additional amount for giving information on the other members of the outfits.
Additional DIG Monirul Islam, also chief of the CTTC unit, said: “If any distracted member of a militant group wants to quit, there must be an opportunity for them. If anyone wants to surrender to us, we first analyse their crime history.
“If there is any previous crime record, then we will take necessary action as per the law. But when they are found clean, we arrange psychological counselling and check the person's behaviour very closely so that they no longer posses extremist mindset.”
Two New JMB militants surrender in Bogra
Monirul thinks most of the fresh recruits were lured to join the militant outfits giving false explanation of Islam. “These people need permanent counselling. Our officials are working on it to devise long-term solutions.”
According to CTTC officials, most of the requests for surrender came through the “Hello CT” android application. Mainly the parents and relatives of the militants have contacted with the police seeking assistance.
Currently, the CTTC officials are providing counselling through a team consists of a psychologist, an Islamic scholar and a top detective.
3 ‘militant’ siblings surrender in Jessore
On October 5, two militants of New JMB surrendered to the Rapid Action Battalion in presence of the home minister in Bogra. One of them was a close associate of Gulshan restaurant attacker Khairul Islam Payel. They were given Tk5 lakh each.
Three siblings – all members of banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir – surrendered to the police in Jessore on October 3. Earlier, four more Hizb ut-Tahrir members surrendered to the Jessore police on August 11 and August 21.