In 2017, Bangladesh ranked 19th in the Global Terrorism Index and then progressed to the 31st rank after two years in 2019
Instances of extremism or terrorism are increasing globally but the situation in Bangladesh is changing for the better.
In 2017, Bangladesh ranked 19th in the Global Terrorism Index and then progressed to the 31st rank after two years in 2019.
Md Monirul Islam, head of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) of Bangladesh Police, presented the information as chief guest at a discussion meeting titled 'Role of Mass Media in Preventing Extremism,' held at the National Press Club on Saturday.
Neighbouring countries India and Pakistan are in the top ten risky countries according to the index. The condition of Bangladesh is much better and is still improving. Even countries like the United States and United Kingdom are at risk.
"We do not have a definite strategy to curb violent extremism: time is required to do that. But we are going to adopt Counter Violent Extremism (CVE) policies," said the police official.
"People, ages 15-30, are the ones who are mostly getting involved in terrorism. We are having dialogues with young leaders to motivate this vulnerable group. We are also having conversations with religious leaders," he added.
Monirul commented that people abroad think that militants start hacking people with machetes as soon as they set foot on the roads of Bangladesh. This is not the case and it is the mass media's responsibility to promote the real situation.
"We are working to restrain extremism based on our country's context. We are not making the same mistake as Sampreeti Bangladesh who made an advertisement imitating foreign media. We are also conducting academic research," Monirul said.
Chief editor of GTV and Sarabangla.net, Syed Ishtiaque Reza, said: "Whenever an extremist is arrested, police say the 'joddha' (fighter) was arrested with 'jihadi' books. Words like these can inspire extremism."
Maasranga TV Head of News, Rezwanul Haq Raza, said: "Several media houses published the smiling pictures of the Holey Artisan attackers which was really inappropriate. A person gained popularity after praising Delwar Hossain Sayeedi and speaking against female leadership. Police have to work on these things."
Mozammel Babu, owner of Ekattor TV, suggested that the recent arrest of Shariyat Bayati is inciting militancy.
NTV Chief News Editor Zahirul Alam commented that it would be better if CTTC prepared a guideline for media outlets in this regard.
ATN Bangla Head of News Z E Mamun, DBC News CEO Manzurul Islam, and Ekushey TV Head of News Mostafa Mohshin Abbas, were among others who expressed their opinions on the issue during the three hour long dialogue session.