Vol. 5 Num 462 Mon. September 12, 2005  
Front Page

Jamaat MPs rebut Babar's claim of JMB link as baseless

The state minister for home yesterday told the Jatiya Sangsad that intelligence agencies have found involvement of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) and an outlawed party in the August 17 bomb blasts across the country, drawing a sharp rebuttal from a Jamaat-e-Islami lawmaker, claiming reports of JMB's involvement is 'absolutely baseless'.

In a call attention notice on the August 17 blasts, Jamaat lawmaker Riasat Ali Biswas said 'Reports of militant training of Jama'atul Mujahideen and Harkatul Jihad to turn Bangladesh into an Islamic country is nothing but propaganda.'

Delwar Hossain Saydee , another lawmaker from the BNP-led ruling coalition's major partner Jamaat, in a call attention notice demanded of the government not to 'harass' madrasa-educated people 'indiscriminately'.

It was very unusual that Speaker entertained two call attention notices on similar issues.

Riasat Ali said in a written notice, "A section of politicians of our country and India have been propagating for long that Bangladeshis intrude into India, there is repression on minorities, fundamentalists exist here and militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen and Harkatul Jihad are trained to turn Bangladesh into an Islamic country."

"..This is absolutely baseless," he said. "Even foreigners did not find any authenticity of such propaganda."

Referring to the August 17 bomb blasts, he said, "It was intended to install a puppet government in the country, which in the long turn will reestablish undivided India. The blasts were also a conspiracy to make Bangladesh a target of foreign forces which we have already witnessed in Afghanistan and Iraq," he said.

But State Minister for home Lutfozzman Babar said, "Intelligence agencies have found connection of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh and an outlawed party in the August 17 blasts."

He also differed with Delwar Hossain Saydee and said no innocent person was harassed by police and other law enforcing agencies.

"A total of 238 people have been arrested on suspicion of links to the serial blasts, and of them 11 have already given confessional statements," Babar told the House.

"It is not true that government has launched a crackdown on madrassas," he said. The government is determined to nab the culprits and bring them to justice, he added.