The counterterrorism unit of police will provide assistance to over 100 former militants or their families to keep them away from the path of militancy.
The officials will begin with rehabilitating five former militants next week.
The five convicted leaders and activists of the mainstream JMB were recently released from prison. They were arrested before and after the 2005 series bomb attacks.
Family members of three other JMB militants, who are still in jail, have also been selected for awarding financial help so that militant outfits cannot recruit them with financial assistance, said Monirul Islam, chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit of police
Saiful Islam, deputy commissioner of the unit, said, “For the rehabilitation, we would raise funds so that they can start small businesses.”
The families facing serious financial hardships are being chosen, he added.
The initiative is part of a plan to establish a terrorism and international crime prevention centre of police.
“We will provide them with vocational or special trainings in such a manner that they may become experts in a certain field and do good for our society,” Saiful told The Daily Star yesterday.
Officers would meet the militants in jail and counsel them in starting a normal life with CTTC support.
CTTC chief Monirul said it is not uncommon for family members of militants to get involved in militancy partly due to poverty.
“We have often seen militant outfits taking financial responsibility of the families of their jailed members.”
If the families get financial support, they may not depend on the militants or become vengeful.
DC Saiful said they have a list of ex-militants, who have been freed from jail.
“We then made a shorter list of 25 and finally selected five of them. We also picked the families of three others after talking to them. It appears that they would stay away from the path of militancy if they get the support.”
Four of the five ex-militants were students while other one was a teacher when they were arrested.
After serving time, they have been working as labourers or low-skill workers in different districts.
They have been struggling to integrate into the society because some people do not accept them, CTTC chief Monirul said.
“We believe the society will accept the ex-militants once people know about our support. Until they start enjoying a regular life, we will keep them in touch,” he said.
The officers also pay attention to individual needs.
Some of the ex-militants told officers that they did not need financial support at all. Rather, they need support in re-integrating into the society.
“In those cases, we hold talks with local police and political leaders and urge them to help the individuals get accepted by people,” Monirul added.