Law enforcers in Bangladesh continued their anti-militancy operations across the country in 2017 following the government’s vow to show “zero tolerance” against terrorism and militancy.
Some experts say the militants activities in the country grew in 2016 after the attack at a cafe in Dhaka’s Gulshan on July 1, 2016 and the fight to curb the social menace also gained a momentum.
Last year, in some 15 major anti-militancy operations in nine districts, at least 35 suspected militants were killed.
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The number of drives and its deadly nature were similar to those in 2016 but last year some experts say with the gradual weakening of global terrorism and Islamic State (IS) stronghold in Syria nearly diminished, Bangladesh's domestic militancy activities showed a downward trend. Though law enforcers claim that they have been successful in fighting and keeping militancy under control, many relatives of the suspected militants who were killed in such operations alleged that they had been picked up by law enforcers on plainclothes many days before their bodies were found after a raid or operation.
And it is not over yet, as militancy and terrorism cannot be eliminated by force alone.
“Only a few countries have been able to curb radical Islamists and the reason behind their success was not only using force to destroy them but launching a multi-pronged counter-radicalisation strategy—community involvement, social awareness about the scourge of extremism, campaign against misinterpretation of religion, de-radicalisation of radicals and integrating them in society,” said M Abul Kalam Azad, chief reporter of The Daily Star who has been covering militancy in Bangladesh for over a decade.