2016: the year of success in curbing militancy

By Asraful Huq

DHAKA, Dec 31, 2016 (BSS)-The law enforcement agencies have achieved a significant success in 2016 in controlling militancy with capturing top leaders of the banned militant outfit Neo Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

"We have seen a rise in militancy from the very beginning of this year (2016) and later in middle (of the year) the militant attack on Holey Artisan Bakery. But, the scenario has totally changed after the bakery attack as the law enforcers have conducted successful drives against militants one after another and the latest one was Ashkona dragnet," a security and strategic analyst, Maj Gen Abdur Rashid (rtd), told BSS today.

Considering the successful dragnets against the neo JMB in which many operatives of the militant organization have been captured and 35 others including some top brasses killed, he said, "We can describe 2016 as the year of success in curbing militancy."

"We have brought under control the activities of the militants as the police have successfully stopped regrouping of the neo JMB with capturing its top leaders and killings some others," additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Monirul Islam told BSS today.

Islam, also the chief of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of DMP, said some of the top leaders of the illegal outfit were killed in security drives while many others were either sentenced to deaths or life or different jail terms.

According to police and RAB, around 40 JMB members were killed, some surrendered and some others were captured during recent drives of the law enforcers.

On the other hand, JMB's 64 operatives were sentenced to death, 154 to life term imprisonment and 242 others to different jail terms in cases of various attacks.

Besides, law enforcers arrested 1,792 JMB men in different cases while 2,043 were charge-sheeted in different cases.

The JMB suffered a huge setback with execution of death sentences of it top leaders including Maulana Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, think-tank Abdul Awal, Majlish-e-Sura members Khaled Saifullah and Salahuddin. "In a single incident of cross-country bomb explosions on 17 August in 2005, a total of 161 cases were lodged accusing 660 members of the JMB. Of them, 103 cases have already been disposed of while 58 cases are under trial," media wing director of RAB Commander Mufti Mahmud told BSS earlier.

Courts awarded death sentences to 15 JMB men, life term to 118, different terms to 116 while acquitted 118 of the charges in the cross-country bomb explosions cases, sources said.

JMB chief Maulana Shaikh Abdur Rahman, HuJIB (Harkatul Jihad Al Islami Bangladesh) operational chief Maulana Abdul Hannan were among the death sentence awardees in the cross country bombing cases.

Five JMB men were killed when police carried out rescue operation at Holey Artisan Bakery at Gulshan in the capital city on July 1 last.

After the Gulshan attack, law enforcers have intensified intelligence surveillance across the country. Eventually, they conducted a major drive in Kalyanpur in the city on July 26, in which nine JMB men were killed.

Three JMB men including Tamim Chowdhruy, the mastermind of Gulshan attack, were killed on August 27 during a special drive of the joint forces in a militant den in Paikpara area of Narayanganj.

In the latest police drive at House no-50 (Surya Vila) at Ashkona under Dakshinkhan Police Station on December 24, two were killed as a female militant blew herself up.

Besides, two women -- wife of Major (retd) Jahid, allegedly the trainer of Gulshan and Sholakia attackers, and wife of "Neo JMB" leader Maynul Musa -- surrendered with two babies.

Earlier on July 21 last, four JMB men including chief of southern region of Md Mahmudul Hasan alias Tanvir, were arrested from Tongi on July 21 last.

Four women leaders of JMB, including its top leader Aklima Rahman alias Moni, were arrested from Signboard area of Tongi of Gazipur district on August 24 last.

Twelve suspected members of JMB, including Dhaka divisional operation commander Faridul Islam alias Akash, were killed in four operations of police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) in Gazipur, Tangail districts and Ashulia, on the outskirts of the city, on Saturday.

Police said since the killing of the suspected mastermind of the Gulshan cafe attack, Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, killed in a raid in Narayanganj in August, Tanvir had been coordinating Neo-Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB).

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)