Dhaka shuts down Peace TV after at­tacks

The Myanmar Times - - World -

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. –

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