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BANGLADESH: News Briefs

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103 mosque committees across country having leaders of JeI and other radical groups as members instigating militant activities identified: District-based Islamic scholars have so far identified some 103 mosque committees across the country having leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and other radical groups as members instigating militant activities. The 103 mosques were identified in the northern part of the country in Rajshahi, Chittagong, Chandpur, Rangpur, Bogra, Gaibandha, Satkhira, Sylhet, Gazipur and Dinajpur Districts. The scholars are now gathering more information about the suspected militant sympathizers and the activities of the mosque committees. Dhaka Tribune, January 29, 2016.

Five-member committee formed to gather information about 195 Pakistani POWs: International Crimes Tribunal (ICT) on January 18 formed a five-member informal committee to gather information about the 195 Pakistani prisoners of war (POWs). The five-member committee will collect information, books and documents on the atrocities committed by the Pakistani soldiers during the Liberation War of Bangladesh in 1971. Dhaka Tribune, January 21, 2016.

Prime Minister asks Army to resist evil forces to protect country's independence and sovereignty: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed on January 14 asked Army to resist evil forces to protect country’s independence and sovereignty. She said, “I’m sure Bangladesh Army is fully ready to strongly resist any kind of evil force to safeguard the country’s unity…watching your efficiency in training, I can say you’re truly a force built with the spirit of the War of Liberation.” New Age, January 15, 2016.

Islamic scholars start identifying JeI members and militants in Mosque Management Committees across the country: District-based Islamic scholars have started identifying the members of Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) and militants in the Mosque Management Committees across the country. Primarily, they have identified several dozens of such mosques in Chittagong, Sylhet, Habiganj, Dinajpur, Bogra, Satkhira and Chandpur Districts. After information on all the mosques are collected, the Police will scrutinize those and take further action. Dhaka Tribune, January 14, 2016.

JeI will be banned by 2016 following legal procedure, says Food Minister Quamrul Islam: Food Minister Quamrul Islam on January 7 said that Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) will be banned by 2016 following legal procedure. He said, “Jamaat will be banned by 2016 through legal process…there is no confusion over it. Jamaat’s politics can’t continue on the soil of Bangladesh. We believe the financial sources of the party will also be stopped.” New Age, January 9, 2016.

Begum Khaleda Zia also would not be spared by people of Bangladesh for having committed similar crimes like war criminals, says PM Sheikh Hasina Wajed: Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina Wajed on January 8 said that like the war criminals, Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) Chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia also would not be spared by the people of Bangladesh for having committed similar crimes. Referring to the BNP's destructive movement to topple the Government she said, "Khaleda Zia committed the same offence against the people of Bangladesh in 2015. But the people of the country did not cast their votes in favour of the party as they were enraged by arson and destructive politics of it." The Daily Star, January 9, 2016.

Supreme Court upholds Motiur Rahman Nizami's death penalty in crimes committed during Liberation War: The Supreme Court (SC) on January 6 upheld the death penalty awarded to Jamaat-e-Islami (JeI) Chief Motiur Rahman Nizami for crimes against humanity committed during the 1971 War of Liberation. Acquitting Nizami of three charges, the court found him guilty of five charges. The International Crimes Tribunal-1 (ICT-1) had earlier declared him guilty of eight charges, awarding him death for four charges. The Daily Star, January 6, 2016.

183 cases relating to militancy have been deposed of with sentencing deaths to 69 militants, life terms to 162 and different jail terms to 239 others, says Police: Police said that a total of 183 cases relating to militancy have been deposed of with sentencing deaths to 69 militants, life terms to 162 and different jail terms to 239 others while 364 more cases are now under trial. 56, 11 and two members of the banned militant outfits Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) and Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) were awarded death sentences respectively. A total of 2,857 operatives of different militant outfits have so far been arrested while the number of the fugitives is 660.  Dhaka Tribune, January 1, 2016.

Police form special counter-terror unit: A 600-men Police unit specialising in technology has been formed under the Dhaka Metropolitan Police to enhance Police capability in combating militancy and terrorism. The "Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime" unit has been formed at a time when the country has witnessed a sharp rise in deadly attacks on bloggers, publishers, different Muslim sects, foreigners, and people of other religion, Police sources said. Daily Star, December 31, 2015.

Pakistani diplomat withdrawn from Bangladesh allegedly for financing JMB: Fareena Arshad, second secretary (political) at Pakistan High Commission in Dhaka city was withdrawn from Bangladesh on December 23 weeks after allegations of her involvement in terror financing surfaced in the judicial statement of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB). JMB operative Idris Sheikh, arrested on November 29 in Dhaka city, told the court that he got a ride from the Pakistani diplomat in her car from Baitul Mukarram to Fakirerpool, and received BDT 30,000 from her. This is the second instance of withdrawal of a Pakistani diplomat from Bangladesh. In January 2015, Mazhar Khan, a Pakistani envoy was expelled from Dhaka for allegedly funding JMB operatives.  Daily Star, December 24, 2015.

No Islamic State in Bangladesh, asserts Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal: There is no existence of Islamic State (IS) in Bangladesh as intelligence agencies do not have any evidence of its existence here, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal on December 22. Kamal said, “All the political killings and attacks on religious establishments are being conducted by our country's militant outfits like JMB and Ansarullah.” All the attacks are being carried out to make the country unstable to secure political gain, he added. Daily Star, December 23, 2015.

Organisations like JMB have been operating under instructions from ISI, say Bangladeshi officials: Organisations like the Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) have been operating under instructions from Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) to create chaos in India's eastern sector, Bangladeshi officials said. With operations getting more difficult in Jammu & Kashmir, the ISI has apparently turned its attention to Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal. Times of India, December 21, 2015.

Bangladesh's soil will not be allowed to be used by any insurgent group, says Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed said "We won't allow any sort of insurgency in Bangladesh. We want a peaceful atmosphere in this region. We'll work for people and we need more cooperation and support from our neighbors." She was speaking to outgoing Indian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Pankaj Saran at her office in Dhaka city on December 2. New Age, December 3, 2015.

Ansar al-Islam issues death threats against State Minister of Foreign Affairs and seven other eminent personalities: Ansar al-Islam on November 30 released a fresh list of targets issuing death threats against State Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamad Shahriar Alam and seven other eminent personalities of Rajshahi city in Rajshahi District. A letter carrying the letterhead of Ansar al-Islam, containing the names of the targets, was sent to the office of the Daily Sunshine, a local daily in Rajshahi city. Dhaka Tribune, December 1, 2015.

[Source: SATP]

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