Bangladesh army official rules out fears of spread of txtremism


Dhaka : The people of Bangladesh have rejected religious extremism, a senior army official has said, ruling out the fears of its spread in the country.

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“Such a possibility (the spread of religious extremism) is very slim as the people of this country have rejected extremism,” Lt Gen Masud Uddin Chowdhury, the army’s principal staff officer, told newspersons.

He was speaking on the sidelines of a four-day seminar on “Developing Rules of Engagement and Combating Terrorism,” jointly organised by Bangladesh Army and the US embassy here.

Chowdhury ruled out possibilities that Bangladesh could be used as a breeding ground for extremism and said the “people and the government are aware of the sporadic incidents of militancy that took places in some places.”

The comments, reported by media here Monday, came as the interim government in emergency-ruled Bangladesh earlier issued a standing order for intensified vigil against Islamist militancy across the country after the March 30 execution of six top leaders of extremist Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh.

Replying to a question, Chowdhury said he did not want to mingle religion-based politics with extremism but stern actions would be taken against religion-based parties like Jamaat-e-Islami if they were found involved in militancy.

“Terrorism is always terrorism, be it with religion or without,” Chowdhury said.

Earlier, at the seminar, he said dealing with terrorism required special legislation beyond criminal laws to provide the military and security forces necessary authority and investigation tools to ensure the prosecution of suspected terrorists. But such legislations must be in conformity with international humanitarian laws, he added.