South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

THE arrest of Maulana Saidur Rahman, chief of the Jama’atul Mujahidden Bangladesh, along with three other leaders of the militant group, has revealed that religious extremists still pose a grave threat to the nation’s security. The police have also recovered explosives and bomb making materials from their possession. By all indications, the JMB activists were preparing for launching another attack.

The police have done a commendable job. And it is evident that there has been no let-up in their efforts to neutralise the JMB threat. The police and Rab have conducted quite a few successful operations in recent past, when the JMB activists were apparently trying to regroup themselves, after some of their top leaders were executed in 2007. The executions were a major setback to the party, but it would be too naïve to think that the menace has been completely eliminated. The police raid on JMB hideouts on Monday showed that the JMB leaders were present in the capital itself.

The law enforcement agencies are trying to prevent the JMB from resuming their subversive activities. They are definitely on the right track. However, it is equally important that the JMB is prevented from recruiting highly gullible young boys from madrasas who fall easy prey to their propaganda offensive. A distorted and highly politicised version of Islam is presented to them. It is no secret that the JMB is exploiting the poverty and ignorance of people, particularly in rural areas. So, the government and society have to do the basic work of exposing the JMB’s sinister design to the people. Obviously, words alone will not work. What is needed is creation of the socio-economic conditions not conducive to proliferation of this particular brand of religious militancy.

There is reason to believe that the JMB has the network to launch bomb attacks. This is no doubt a matter of concern, but no less worrisome is the fact that the outfit is receiving financial support from different sources. Their supply lines and sources of funding have to be cut off if the law enforcers want to blunt the potentially devastating force of this militant outfit.

Finally, relying on the law enforcers alone to uproot such a well-entrenched group of terrorists is not the right strategy. People have to see through their plans and organise a social resistance against all such evil forces out to ruin the country. The law enforcers will spearhead the campaign, but citizens have to play their due role in eliminating the threat.


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