A nationwide crackdown to halt the wave of terror attacks against minority communities in Bangladesh has reportedly led to the arrest of about 3,000 people, including 37 Islamist militants. The country has witnessed a surge in attacks in recent times.
The crackdown was launched after a high-level meeting was organised by inspector general AKM Shahidul Hoque in Dhaka on Thursday. Militants of the Jamaat-Ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) terror outfit were believed to have carried out attacks on secularists, liberals and non-Muslims, the Times of India reports.
"Out of 37 militants, 27 belong to JMB," Hoque told the publication. Majority of those detained by the police over the past two days are believed to be criminals and thugs.
Bangladesh has come under heavy criticism for not taking action earlier against militants who have caused terror in the country. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had on Saturday promised to catch each and every killer.
In the last three year, militants have killed writers, bloggers, and individuals from religious minorities such as Hindus and Christians, the New York Times reported.
The Bangladeshi government had earlier arrested about a dozen of people responsible for carrying out attacks, but had never carried out a nationwide crackdown.
"I welcome this special drive. It should have been taken much earlier," Shahriar Kabir, general secretary of the South Asian People's Union against Fundamentalism and Communalism told the publication.
On Friday, a Hindu monastery worker was hacked to death in the Pabna region of the country by unidentified men in what appeared to be a fresh incident of violence against religious minorities. However, no group had claimed responsibility for the attack.