Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Cabinet okays death for terror funding

The cabinet on Monday approved the Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill 2011, proposing capital punishment for financing terrorist activities.
The home affairs ministry placed the bill at the weekly meeting of the cabinet seeking amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act 2009 to widen its scope for preventing terror funding.
The existing law stipulates that a person guilty of the offence for terror financing shall be sentenced to not more than  20 years and not less than three years of imprisonment.
The law if enacted would now allow the authorities to inquire about any doubtful transactions through banks or financial institutions and suspend those for investigations, a senior home ministry official said.
An array of crimes, including use of arms, causing deaths or damages to property and financing attacks, to jeopardise the territorial integrity, solidarity, security or sovereignty of the country, have already been made non-bailable offences  liable to death penalty and life imprisonment under the present anti-terrorism law.
Presided over by the prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, the cabinet also okayed drafts of the Disaster Management Bill, 2011 and Power of Attorney Bill, 2011, prime minister’s press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told reporters.
He said that the cabinet had given final approval to the draft of Anti-Terrorism (Amendment) Bill, 2011 to prevent acts of terrorism and militancy and also to stop financing such activities.
The press secretary said the cabinet had also approved the Jute Policy, 2011 to promote jute production and marketing of jute products.
A person or entity will be considered as a terrorist if they harm or help harm another country while staying in Bangladesh, according to the draft amendments made to check money laundering and financing in terrorism in line with the recommendations by the US
Department of Justice, said officials.
If a person commits murder or causes injures, detains or kidnaps other(s) or do harm to someone else’s property and uses or keeps explosives, flammable objects, firearms or other chemicals to destroy the integrity, solidarity, security or sovereignty of Bangladesh by creating horror among the public or segment of the public shall commit the offence of ‘terrorist activities,’ the law says.
The draft also redefined the word property as assets both in and outside the country.
It also suggested changes to the punishment provision, like introduction of twice as much monetary penalty than what a damaged property was worth, and extension of the lowest jail term of three years to four years.
The Bangladesh Bank shall have the power to prevent and identify any transaction through banking channels or any other financial institutions designed to committing any offences under the law.
Monday’s cabinet also endorsed a proposal of the defence ministry for an agreement on military technical assistance with Belarus.
It also approved a proposal of the banking division for setting up the Rajshahi Krishi Unnyan Bank’s small enterprise credit programme, which was now under implementation, as the bank’s subsidiary company.

-With New Age input

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