Vol. 5 Num 466 Fri. September 16, 2005  
Front Page

2 Shibir men held at JS, freed after 'lobbying'
Cops tightlipped about contents of books, CDs seized from them

Police arrested two activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami, with CDs and books on jihad on the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban premises on Wednesday night, following which Jamaat lawmakers yesterday lobbied with the speaker for their release.

The two were released yesterday afternoon after Tejgaon police had produced them before a court without bringing any specific charge against them.

The deputy sergeant-at-arms of parliament caught Mahmudul Islam and Ershadul Haque, aged between 25-26, who introduced themselves to the law enforcers as Shibir leaders of Sadullahpur, Gaibandha.

Following the arrest, ruling Jamaat MPs started lobbying with the speaker for the release of the arrested Shibir activists. They also put pressure on the police not to disclose the incident.

Jamaat lawmaker Abdul Aziz asked the sergeant-at-arms to initiate steps for their release, which the latter refused, saying it is the jurisdiction of the speaker.

Then the lawmaker made a phone call to the speaker with the same request. The lawmaker tried to convince the speaker saying they are Shibir activists from his Gaibandha-1 constituency and they were returning from a religious function, sources said.

Later, Aziz even physically went to the police station, sources said.

A few other Jamaat lawmakers also called the speaker over telephone but the speaker did not entertain the calls.

Meanwhile, Speaker Jamiruddin Sircar admitted that lawmaker Aziz made a phone call to him requesting to initiate steps for the release of the two Shibir workers.

"It is a sensitive matter and related to the security of the parliament complex. Law will take its own course," the speaker told reporters at his office yesterday evening.

The Tejgaon police did not bring any specific charge and produced them before a magistrate court under section 54 (on suspicion) of the criminal procedure code (CrPC). The court released them on bail.

Lawmaker Abdul Aziz last night admitted to The Daily Star to his contacting the speaker and said, "The two Shibir men mistakenly went to the parliament area."

"The CDs contain waz [Islamic speeches] of Delwar Hossain Saidee while the books are textbooks," he added.

During quizzing at the Tejgaon PS, the Shibir men, however, claimed that the books and CDs contained matters related to their organisation.

Meanwhile, when contacted, a number of police officials declined to say anything about the contents of the CDs and books.

How they were caught
Sources said Deputy Sergeant-at-Arms of Parliament Wing Commander Mamunur Rashid caught the two Shibir activists for moving suspiciously near the main entrance to the parliament building at about 12:30am on Wednesday and found the dubious CDs and books with them.

The parliament authorities contacted the Tejgaon Police Station and at about 1:00am the two were handed over to them.

During an interrogation at the police station, the Shibir men said they went to meet Jamaat MP Abdul Aziz, but the MP was not present at his hostel room at that time. Failing to meet the MP they were wandering near the parliament's main entrance area, they said.

Following pressure from the Jamaat leaders and lawmakers, the police ultimately refrained from further interrogating the arrestees, sensing the issue is politically sensitive, said a police source.

Police also tried to conceal the whole episode and did not show any interest in discussing the issue.

A police official seeking anonymity said they will launch an inquiry into the allegations against the arrestees and if they find them true, a case will be filed against them.

Bomb-makers identified
Five people manufactured the bombs while three others, including madrasa student Shahidullah alias Lokman, assisted them in fitting detonators and attaching tapes at the North Bashabo house from where all bombs blasted across the country on August 17 were distributed, police said yesterday.

Lokman now being quizzed by detectives confirmed the identities of the three bomb-makers whom detectives are trying to arrest. The law enforcers are also trying to track down the place where the bomb-makers were trained up.

Investigators are also checking the registers of the Continental Courier Service for the addresses to which deliveries were made prior to August 17.

Meanwhile, detained Moulana Obaidur Rahman, younger brother of most wanted Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) chief Abdur Rahman, is now being grilled at the Joint Interrogation Cell (JIC) in Dhaka.

Jamalpur police transferred Obaidur to the JIC after they found some important clues about the serial blasts and about his brothers--Abdur Rahman and JMB military chief Ataur Rahman--from him, sources said.

A JIC interrogator said they have gathered some important information from Obaidur, but declined to disclose those for the sake of investigation.

Meanwhile, a Detective Branch (DB) team left the capital yesterday for Jamalpur to arrest some August 17 blast suspects after making some achievement in the investigation, SM Mizanur Rahman, commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), said.

"We suspect some more dens of militants are there in the capital. We are trying to find out those," he said after a home ministry meeting.

He said the plastic containers used in the bombs were manufactured at a plastic factory in Lalbagh. Except the gunpowder and detonators, all other materials were bought from markets in the capital, he said adding, "We are trying to find out the sources of the gun powder and detonators."

Meanwhile, the two youths, Kazi Abdul Motaleb, 22, and Shaharul Islam Babul, 18, arrested from a dormitory of Dhaka University (DU) on Wednesday for their alleged involvement in the August 17 serial bomb blasts were placed on a three-day remand each yesterday.

Shown arrested under section 54 of the CrPC, they were produced before the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court, Dhaka with a seven-day remand petition.

The forwarding report placed before the court said they were arrested from Surya Sen Hall of the DU while holding a secret meeting to carry out more attacks in the country. So, they need to be quizzed to find out vital clues to their meeting and whereabouts of their accomplices, the report said.

After hearing, Metropolitan Magistrate Nani Gopal Biswas placed them on a three-day remand.

Earlier on Wednesday, police arrested five serial blast suspects from Jamalpur and Sariakandi upazila of Bogra.

The arrestees are Jahangir Alam, 28, Saidur Rahman, 24, of Jamalpur town and Mohammad Saidur, 24, Ziaul Haq, 24 and Abdul Jalil, 26, of Sariakandi.

UNB reports, two top JMB leaders were arrested from Joypurhat town on Wednesday night.

The arrested are Hafez Md Shafiqul Islam, 40, Imam of Ahle Hadith Jame mosque, and Shafiqul Islam Shafi, 56, publication secretary of the district Ahle Hadith Andolon Bangladesh (Ahab).

Superintendent of Police Abdullah Al Azad Chowdhury said JMB cadre Azizul Bari Mintu, arrested in connection with the August 17 serial bombings, named Hafez Md Shafiqul Islam as their leader in his confessional statement.

Later, on the basis of the confession of Shafiq police arrested the other JMB top leader Shafiqul Islam Shafi.

UNB from Kishoreganj adds: A JMB cadre was arrested with a large quantity of bomb making materials at Guduigram village in Nikli upazila Wednesday night.

Obaidullah Sumon, 23, hailing from Kathalrajabari village in Trishal of Mymensingh district, was taken into custody. Police seized 4kg gunpowder, 50 detonators, and 12 packets of powergel from the spot.

Police Super Mallik Fakhrul Islam said powergel, one kind of powerful explosive, was packed in a plastic paper.

A former student of Mohammadia Madrasa in Mirbagh of Dhaka, Sumon told police that he had received training from commander Ayetullah at Islampur in Jamalpur and got the explosives from him.

He saw Shaikh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai on a char of Jamuna River during the training about three months ago. He claimed he was on a 10-day leave and did not take part in the August 17 bombings.

UNB from C'nawabganj said acting on confessional statement of arrested JMB cadre Mohabbat, detective police yesterday recovered some leaflets and training books of the outlawed outfit from his rented house at Gulbagh in Dhaka.

UNB correspondent from Dinajpur adds: Police took JMB suspect Aminul Islam alias Biji on a seven-day remand for interrogation yesterday. He was arrested in the town on Wednesday.

JMB cadre Ayub Ali, arrested in Sherpur on Saturday, was taken on a fresh remand yesterday.