Law enforcement officers say the authorities are planning to classify militants who are still active even after being imprisoned.
According to police sources, militants who are in jail are influencing others inside to follow their lead and there are 577 militants of varying degrees currently in prison, said jail authorities.
One officer from police headquarters who works on militancy said that, according to information from various detective sources, militants who have been captured continue to remain active in prison.
In such an instance, Home Ministry and prison authorities are notified of the matter. Police have assured that prison authorities are taking steps to deal with militants accordingly.
During the inauguration ceremony of Prison Week on March 20, President Md Abdul Hamid called on prison authorities to monitor imprisoned militants in order to keep their activities in check.
Currently, over 500 members of Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), new JMB, Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT), Ansar-al-Islam, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, Hizb-ud-Towhid and Harkat-ul-Jihad are in different prisons around the country.
Inspector General (Prisons) of police Brig Gen Syed Iftekhar Uddin said: "We are trying to classify the currently incarcerated 577 militants. At the same time, we are trying to separate the less radicalized ones from those who are more radicalized."
According to the IG, 20 prison officials have received training from the American Embassy on the subject of de-radicalization so that they can teach militants to turn their backs on their beliefs. Other than that, a government organization is also providing 20 more officers with training on de-radicalization.
"We are on the primary phase of de-radicalization," said Iftekhar. "Militants believe in an ideal. To steer them away from those ideals, we have to know more. It is going to take time to implement those measures."
Other than that, 30 terrorists from JMB, new JMB and Ansarullah militant organizations, accused in the murder of blogger Abhijit Roy, publisher Faisal Arefin Dipon, former chairman of PDB, Khijir Khan, were arrested. They are all currently serving prison terms.
Deputy Commissioner of DMP, Masudur Rahman, believes that militants no longer have the capacity to launch any massive subversive activity.
"Police are working to prevent all kinds of militant activities," he said. "Besides, prison authorities, alongside detectives, are keeping a close eye on imprisoned militants. But to be honest, there is not much the police can do inside jails."
Additional Inspector General of police Soheli Ferdous said: "920 cases were filed against militants till October of 2017. Among them, 619 cases are undergoing trial. Investigations are continuing in the remaining 301 cases. 3,676 militants have been arrested in connection with the cases until now."
To law enforcements credit, according to information provided by police headquarters and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), 16 anti-militant operations have been conducted by the police since July 1, 2016, including the Holey Artisan drive in the capital.
"Operation Thunderbolt" in Holey Artisan, "Operation Storm 26" in Kallyanpur, "Operation Rupnagar" in Rupnagar, "Operation Azimupur in Azimpur", "Operation Heat Strong 27" in Paikpara, Naryanganj, "Operation Hitback" and "Operation Maximus" in Nasirpur and Borohat in Moulvibazar, "Operation Strike Out" in Courtbari, Cumilla, "Operation Eagle hut" in Shibganj, Chapainababganj, "Operation Shuttle Speed" in Maheshpur, Jhenidah, "Operation Assault 16" in Shitakunda, Chattogram, "Operation Sun Devil" in Godagari, Rajshahi, are some of the anti-militant drives conducted by the police. 59 top terrorists were killed in them, while a large number of explosives and weapons were recovered.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com