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Dhaka Tribune

DMP chief: Militancy under control but dormant

Regardless of what name a group may use, militants will find no place in Bangladesh, the DMP commissioner says

Update : 01 Jul 2023, 02:08 PM

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Khandaker Golam Faruq on Saturday said whilst militancy is effectively under control, the dormant seeds of such violent extremism may still be present.

“Although militancy is yet to be entirely wiped out from the country, it is under total control,” he said during a press meet after commemorating the two officers who lost their lives in the Holey Artisan cafe attack seven years ago.

Recalling the horrific militant attack on the night of July 1, 2016, Faruq highlighted the fact that foreign citizens were taken hostage and murdered by militants in the cafe, leading to the tragic loss of two courageous officers' lives during the rescue operation.

He pointed out that a series of militant attacks took place in 2015-16, instigated by both local and international conspiracies aimed at obstructing the growth and progress of Bangladesh.

"In the aftermath of the Holey Artisan attack, our development collaborators suspended their initiatives and left the country due to fear," he noted.

The DMP commissioner emphasized the firm stand of the police and citizens, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, against militants.

"This resilience showed our development partners our unyielding resolve to eradicate militancy in Bangladesh. Consequently, they returned, and our development journey resumed," Faruq shared.

He pointed out that the arrest and legal proceedings against militants have continued since then, resulting in the current situation where militancy is in check.

"Even though militancy has not been fully eradicated, we can assert with confidence that it is under control," he stressed.

Regarding a query about the existence of militant groups like JMB and Neo JMB, Faruq answered that there is no active operation of these extremist organizations.

Mentioning the new militant groups like Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, the DMP commissioner said: “Many young people responded to the call of this militant group and went to mountains for training. The police and the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) have arrested many of them. Additionally, many have surrendered upon realizing their mistakes. We recently arrested their founder and legal action has been taken against him.”

Faruq expressed hope that militancy will not bare its fangs in this country, saying: “Regardless of what name they may use, militants will find no place in Bangladesh.”

Faruq said that specialized divisions such as the Anti Terrorism Unit (ATU), Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC), and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) are tirelessly working to thwart militants.

Moreover, a variety of programs have been launched to educate the public about the perils of militancy.

The Holey Artisan attack on July 1, 2016, resulted in the loss of 22 lives, including 17 foreigners and two police officers.

Those killed included nine Italians, seven Japanese, one Indian, one Bangladeshi-born American and two Bangladeshis.

The carnage ended when a team of army commandos stormed the restaurant in Gulshan and shot the five attackers dead the next day.

This deadly assault remains the country's deadliest-ever militant attack, leaving at least 50 individuals gravely wounded.

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