Militancy not fully eradicated but under control: DMP chief
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Khandaker Golam Faruq today said although militancy has not been completely eradicated from the country, it is under control.
"We can say it is under control, we must remain vigilant as the latent seeds of militancy may still exist," he said during a conversation with reporters after paying tribute to the two policemen who were martyred in the attack at the Holey Artisan café.
Recalling the tragic events of July 1, 2016, Faruq mentioned that foreign nationals were held hostage and killed by militants in the café, resulting in the sacrifice of two brave policemen during the rescue operation.
Faruq highlighted that in 2015-16, various militant attacks were carried out as part of domestic and international conspiracies to impede the development and progress of Bangladesh.
"Following the Holey Artisan attack, our development partners halted their projects and left the country out of fear," he said.
The DMP commissioner said the resolute stance of the police and the people, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, was against the militants. "This demonstrated to our development partners that we are determined to uproot militancy in Bangladesh. As a result, they returned, and our journey of development continued," Faruq explained.
He noted that since then, the arrest and prosecution of militants have persisted in Bangladesh, leading to the current state where militancy remains under control. "While militancy has not been eradicated, we can confidently state that it is under control," he emphasised.
When asked about the presence of militant groups like JMB and Neo JMB, Faruq responded that there is no activity of the militancy outfits.
However, he cautioned the emergence of new militant outfits, such as Jama'atul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, which have been targeted by the police and Rapid Action Battalion for arrest and prosecution.
Faruq added that specialised units like the Anti-Terrorism Unit, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime, and Rab are continuously working to combat militants. Additionally, various programmes have been initiated to raise awareness among the public about the dangers of militancy.
On July 1, 2016, five militants with firearms, machetes, and grenades stormed the upscale eatery in the diplomatic zone in Gulshan and held the diners hostage before killing three Bangladeshis, seven Japanese, nine Italians, and one Indian.
The militants were killed during a rescue operation by army commandos. Two police officials and a chef of the café were also killed during the 12-hour standoff. An injured employee of the restaurant died later.
On November 27, 2019, the Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal in Dhaka convicted and sentenced seven militants to death for their involvement in the attack, terming it a disgraceful attack aimed at assassinating the non-communal character of Bangladesh.