As part of the project, the CTTC’s capacity building program will focus on awareness building, de-radicalization, counter-radicalization and rehabilitation of militants
Suspected militants are to be rehabilitated back into mainstream society from January through a formal de-radicalization program of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police.
As part of the project, the CTTC’s capacity building program will focus on awareness building, de-radicalization, counter-radicalization and rehabilitation of militants.
“There has been no formal government initiative for de-radicalizing militants in the country, though many informal initiatives were taken earlier,” CTTC Chief and Additional Commissioner of DMP Monirul Islam told the Dhaka Tribune.
“Now, an official project has been approved and will be implemented from January. There are several stakeholders for the job and the government has already allotted some funds to implement the plan.”
Militancy threats in Bangladesh have almost been brought under control through the combined efforts of law enforcement agencies, other stakeholding organisations and the general public.
The new initiative will aim to take this further by including awareness building programs among the families of prison staff, suspected militants, and physiologically disengaged persons.
“Accordingly we will also carry out rehabilitation work depending on the needs as per the law,” CTTC chief Monirul said. “Anti-militancy programs will also be disseminated through different educational institutions.”
Celebrities will also help in the process by holding dialogues with affected youths about de-radicalization, physiological disengagement and counter radicalization.
“They will conduct counselling sessions for the youths and their family members and teach them different ways for staying away from militancy,” Monirul said.
The Bangladesh government has won praise at home and from abroad for its efforts to stamp out home grown militancy since the July 1, 2016 Holey Artisan attack, which was seen as a “wakeup call” for the country.
Five militants carried out the attack in the diplomatic zone of Dhaka. They murdered 20 hostages, mostly foreigners, and shot dead two police officers. The following morning, Bangladesh Army commandos surrounded the restaurant, killed the terrorists, and rescued the hostages.
Following the attack, the government made a strong effort to wipe out militancy from the country.