Dhaka shuts down Peace TV after attacks
BANGLADESH moved to counter a deadly wave of Islamist attacks, ordering an Islamic television station to stop broadcasting and telling schools to report any missing students.
The measures come after several suspected Islamist extremists were reported to be fans of the television channel, while others were found to be from elite universities but had been missing for months.
A Bangladesh cabinet committee decided to ban Peace TV from the country, Information Minister Hasanul Haq Inu told journalists on July 10.
The station is run by Indian doctor-turned-preacher Zakir Naik, the founder and president of Mumbaibased Islamic Research Foundation, and its programs are aired from Dubai.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina earlier in the day called on every school, college and university to “create a list of absent students and publish it”.
Bangladesh has been reeling from dozens of attacks, targeting secular activists or religious minorities.
“We will be rigorous,” she said. “We must uproot militancy and terrorism from Bangladesh.”
Three of the alleged jihadists who participated in an attack on a Dhaka cafe on July 1, in which 20 hostages were murdered, attended top area schools and universities.
The revelation that the attackers were educated, well-off members of society has sparked fears that Islamism has spread far beyond disenfranchised youngsters being radicalised in madrasas.
Schools would now have to provide information on any students who have an unexplained absence of 10 days or more, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid said. –