We must continue to ensure that our fight against terrorism and militant behaviour does not waver
The brutal murder of Foisal Arefin Dipon, who had published the books of writer and blogger Avijit Roy, took place in 2015 at the hands of eight individuals whose main purpose was to destroy the secular values on which this nation had been built. Finally, after six years, a court has found guilty six amongst those eight, handing them the death penalty in the process.
As the judge has rightfully said in the court’s 53-page verdict, the ones involved in the murder of Dipon were not only a force that went against some of the most important and crucial founding principles of this nation, but also acted as impediments to free speech, attempting to stifle the voices of their fellow countrymen and women.
The ability to have free and open discussions, debates, and disagreements is the hallmark of any well-functioning democracy, and it is heartening to see the Bangladeshijustice system uphold these values in the verdict, values which we need to hold on to now more than ever.
As we saw merely a year after the Dipon murder (whose death had followed Avijit Roy’s brutal murder), militancy found its way into Holey Artisan Bakery, killing more than 20 people in the process and shocking an entire nation into disbelief and further reflection. We must continue to ensure that our fight against terrorism and militant behaviour does not waver, and that whoever preaches and carries out violence in the manner Dipon’s killers had done is identified and punished to the full extent of the law.
Bangladesh’s democracy and economic development have flourished in large part due to its diverse population, which constitutes people from a multitude religions and ethnicities, and it is only through rooting out militancy and celebrating our own diversity that we can continue to develop as a nation in the future.