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Radical tide in Bangladesh

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  29 Oct 2015 12:00 AM GMT

A rising tide of radical extremism in Bangladesh has pushed the Sheikh Hasi-led Awami League government on the backfoot, at a time when the IMF has scaled down growth projections for the country to 6 per cent this year. Having set a 7.3 per cent growth target of the 572 billion dollars economy, the government is now accusing the major opposition Bangladesh tiol Party (BNP) of Begum Khaleda Zia and the banned Islamist party Jamaat-i-Islami of fomenting violence to pull the country down. What has set alarm bells ringing is the rise of the dreaded ISIS, with bomb blasts targeted at the central Shia place of worship in Dhaka during Muharram, masked motorcyclists gunning down an Italian aid worker and a Japanese tourist recently in the heart of the capital, meat-cleaver wielding assailants hacking to death four bloggers, and brutal killing of over a dozen Sufi Muslims and a Christian pastor. Prominent media houses have been threatened not to publish anti-jihadi news, sack female employees and strictly follow Islamist diktats. With the fil court appeals coming up for consideration soon of two more opposition leaders on death row for genocide in the 1971 war of liberation, the country is on tenterhooks. Islamist parties and outfits like the HuJI and JMB have greeted each earlier execution of convicted leaders with rampant violence. The Sheikh Hasi government is fighting an uphill battle to keep the country moderate and secular, for which it needs to deliver on growth. This is what New Delhi is trying to support behind the scenes.

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