SIDDIQUL Islam alias Bangla Bhai, the second most wanted terrorist leader of the Islamist militant outfit, Jama'atul Majahideen Bangladesh (JMB), has finally been arrested by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) from Rampur village in Muktagachha of Mymensingh district. This is certainly another feather in RAB's cap as this success has come only within five days of the capture of the topmost leader of the militant outfit Shaekh Abdur Rahman from Sylhet. With the arrest of JMB boss and his second in command, the terrorist organisation that sent a shockwave of extreme terror across the country through the simultaneous bombing on the 17th August last year is on the verge of collapse. The middle ranking as well as the grassroots workers of the terror network should be on the run as their main leaders are now in captivity. However, the home minister in a press briefing after the arrest of Bangla Bhai has made it clear that the ongoing campaign against the militant outfit would continue without let-up and that the JMB leaders now in custody would be tried according to the law of the land.
Admittedly, there is no room for complacency in spite of this successful arrest of the topmost leaders of the terrorist gang that targeted the jurists, the police and the people from various professions to achieve their evil end through spreading panic among the populace. The government and more particularly the members of the special terror-busting squad of the law enforcement department deserve thanks for their commendable job of capturing the two lynchpins one after another within a short span of time. The people of the country, who were virtually held hostage by the JMB terrorists, will undoubtedly heave a sigh of relief after this feat by the RAB.
However, the people have also learnt from their bitter experiences in the past that terrorism in whatever form it may strike them has a deeper root within society than it may appear on the face it. The phenomenon of Bangla Bhai is itself a living example of this assertion. The militant outfit against which the law enforcement department has launched this allout campaign did certainly not raise its ugly head all of a sudden. What were the government and its crime-busting units doing when this desperado called Bangla Bhai had created a reign of terror in Baghmara of Rajshahi district under the very nose of the police? The media did play its role uncompromisingly and kept the people and the government informed of the developments surrounding this mysterious person who took the law into his own hands and established his self-styled administration in the locality. But far from arresting this gangster, the police then preferred to look the other way for reasons best known to the authorities. Had this criminal outfit been nipped in the bud at that time, the people could be spared of the ordeal they had to go through all these years that the gang spread its tentacles throughout the country.
The time and energy of the law enforcers now being spent to crush the terror network could well be used to clean up the web of the run of the mill criminals. Ironically, the government, its home minister to be specific, has mercifully admitted to his earlier mistake of saying that Bangla Bhai was nothing but a creation of the media. Such realisation, though belated, should be considered as a welcome development from the government's side. It is, therefore, hoped that the government would not waste any more time in its unrelenting war on terror until the last of the militants is ferreted out of their hideout and brought to justice. Finally yet importantly, the political patrons and the sources of the terror financing have also to be unmasked and tracked down and plugged immediately to stem the rising tide of terrorism in the country.