High Security Prison In Bangladesh To Confine Militants

DHAKA, 14 July– Bangladesh has set up a high security prison near its capital Dhaka where top criminals including the Islamist militants and extremists will be confined. The prison, to be known as ‘Kashimpur High Security Central Jail’ was formally inaugurated by Bangladesh Home Minister Ms Sahara Khatun on Thursday (July 12). This is the first-ever high security prison of this kind in Bangladesh where 1000 top criminals and militants can be confined. 

The facilities in the new prison include latest and world-class technologies and security devices like cell phone jammers, secret cameras, metal detectors and latest security technologies to make it most secured and protected one in the country.

The facility was developed to accommodate under trial and convicted militants and extremists, top gangsters and hardened criminals considered threat to national security and public life.

Officials familiar with the facility said the idea of setting up a high security prison came as a number of developed or developing countries constructed such prisons to confine top most criminals. It was built on 10 acres of land at the cost of about US$ 10 million. 

According to a Home Ministry source, over 1500 convicted or under-trial militants are now confined in different jails in Bangladesh. “They will be shifted soon to this new prison in phases”, said the senior official of the ministry. 

Bangladesh has been facing threats and actions of Islamist militants for more than a decade. The authorities concerned identified a number of such militant groups who were active all over the country and carried out subversive activities. They carried out bomb attacks on political gatherings, public meetings, cultural functions, court buildings and even on a church. All these attacks caused deaths of people while many sustained injuries. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina came under several terrorist attacks but escaped narrowly. On August 21, 2004, when Hasina was Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, faced such an attack when 13 grenades were hurled on her public meeting at the centre of Dhaka city. As many as 24 activists of Hasina’s party Awami League, including a central leader of the party Ms Ivy Rahman were killed in the attack while over 200 were injured. Ivy was the wife of incumbent Bangladesh President Zillur Rahman. Hasina escaped death as a human shield was formed around her by party activists. This attack was carried out by a militant group, and some of them have been arrested and facing trial. 

In August 2005, synchronised bomb blasts in 63 districts of Bangladesh had signalled that Islamist militants were active in the country, which was exposed to terrorism following frequent bomb blasts, mainly by Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), over the past years.

The militants, however, faced tough time, during the rule of military-backed non-partisan caretaker government in 2007-2009. A good number of miltant activists and their leaders of different terrorist organizations were caught and put on trial. Five Islamist militant organizations – Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Harkatul Jihad al-Islam, Hizbut Tahrir, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh and Shadat al-Hikma – were banned by the government and many of their leaders were held.  

The militant organizations’ activities suffered a setback following the execution of their six kingpins in March, 2007. They were accused for the murder of two judges in a southern district of the country. Since then, the crackdown on the terrorists and militants by the law enforcing agencies have been continuing vigorously and at least 1500 of them are now in jails. Some Pakistani and Indian nationals are also there among the arrested militants. 

It appears that the militancy in Bangladesh is under control, but newspaper reports quoting authoritative sources said some militant leaders and a good number of their followers are still at large. Therefore, hunt for the militants still continues by the law enforcing agencies.

One Response to High Security Prison In Bangladesh To Confine Militants

  1. Josiel 2 October , 2014 at 1:45 am

    Dear Joe, I got to thinking about some more graeenl-ish questions I have for you. Mostly in regards to stuff that I (and other readers) might be curious about but either haven’t asked, or haven’t thought much about.What is your daily routine like? Do you ever feel like you get stuck in a rut?Do you still have your job after being transferred out and back in?What time do the lights go out? Is it dark or is there still *some light* in your cell?Do you have a window?How long can someone stay in the same cell? Is there a time limit before they are forcibly moved by the staff?If you could bring anything into jail what would you bring?What is the most useful thing you can obtain on the inside? (regardless of contraband status)Is it possible to be happy in prison? Speaking of happiness as a feeling not necessarily in regards to the situation of being a prisoner. (unless some people are indeed happy to be a prisoner?)Do people have magazines sent to them? Is there a limit to how many?Are people with names mentioned frequently during mail call targeted (out of jealousy) more than people that seldom receive mail? Have you found that to be a problem in your situation? (I assume using e-mail is less public’?)Is there a sought after service provided within prison? Like-wise is it better to have a hustle in prison to get the things you need or is it better to lay low, and just buy the stuff with money sent to you?How does the check in’ you mentioned in your previous reply work? How do people check in, is there a time limit, are there certain restrictions placed upon you if you do, is checking in considered a disciplinary act? Does it look bad to officials?Have you found that you rescind statements regarding a lot of the negative aspects you face (if any) on a day-to-day basis being an inmate when communicating with family or friends on the outside simply because you know that it would be hard on them to hear because there would be little to nothing they could actually do to help a situation that arose?Do you have an electrical outlet in your cell? Do inmates ever make anything useful that is powered by electricity?I know that there are a boatload of questions there, and some may or may not warrant an extended answer. Take your time, and answer in parts if you need to. I just wanted to send these questions to you that I thought about since reading your reply, and putting myself in an inmates shoes (as much as possible in thought) during this weekend. After reading your blog, and taking on a few of my own personal legal tigers at the moment I truly believe that at some point in my life I will help those being released from prison.A blog seems like such a frivolous thing these days with social media but I thank you so much for all your writings, and insight into a world foreign to most of us on the outside’ with the exception of whatever National Geographic or the Discovery Channel feel like makes good tv’ which is usually some crazy inmate in super max talking about daily stabbings and bad food.Thanks again,-Matt

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