Bangladesh enacts new anti-terror laws

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New Delhi, May 20: Bangladesh has approved tough new laws to battle terrorism of the Harkat-ul-Jehadi Islami (HuJI).

The new law was approved by the council of advisors on Sunday, which seeks tough measures against Bangladeshis found to be indulging in either terror activities or financing terror or even campaigning for extremist groups. However, from the Indian point of view, this scarcely helps, because Bangladesh is yet to address India's concerns on militants. India has repeatedly asked Bangladesh to send back ULFA militants holed up in the country, but to no avail. India however hopes that these actions would make it easier for Bangladesh to take some of the more unpopular steps on terror, particularly if it has to do with India's concerns. Under the new laws, anyone found involved in terrorist activities could be awarded punishment from 20 years in jail up to a death sentence.

Sponsors of terrorism face a maximum of 20 years in jail, while anyone found guilty of providing shelter or protection to a terrorist would get at least five years in prison.

Anyone caught campaigning for any banned group faces seven years in jail under the new laws.

An anti-terror law in Bangladesh is not new. After the series of attacks by Islamic terror groups in recent years -- including 400 blasts on just one day in August 2005, the previous government had drafted a similar law in 2006, but could not implement it.


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