Vol. 5 Num 14 Wed. June 09, 2004  
Front Page

Bangla Bhai hiding in Nilphamari

Bangla Bhai is now hiding in Nilphamari as police have launched a drive in Rajshahi and Naogaon to arrest the dreaded operations commander of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB).

A JMJB leader said Bangla Bhai has also asked other top leaders of the militant Islamist outfit to take shelter in Nilphamari to elude police dragnet. He however did not want to be identified.

Bangla Bhai's reported relations with BNP leaders of Rajshahi and Naogaon, including lawmakers, state ministers and deputy ministers, are now getting cold because of police crackdown on JMJB men, sources said.

" Our commander (Bangla Bhai) is so upset that he did not attend mobile calls even from a state minister five times yesterday," said a JMJB leader. "Bangla Bhai did so because he believes police started the crackdown on the JMJB as local BNP leaders stopped supporting it," he added.

Locals in Raninagar and Atrai upazilas of Noagaon alleged police are picking up innocent people terming them operatives of either the JMJB or the banned Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) and releasing only those giving them bribe.

The JMJB still continues its activities including forcible collection of toll and abduction of people for ransom in the two upazilas, they further alleged.

The militant outfit is blamed for killing at least nine suspected outlaws in its 'vigilante operation' in the northwest region since April 1. Its actions drew sharp attention from the media and strong protest from major political parties.

It started its militant activities after some relatives and friends of local lawmakers were killed in armed attacks blamed on underground operatives of the PBCP. Besides, a court order sending to jail three JMJB operatives including an area commander added fuel to its operation.

The three were accused in a case for the murder of retired army man Sheikh Farid at Raninagar in Noagaon.