Vol. 5 Num 565 Wed. December 28, 2005  
Front Page

Some ministers, state machinery backed JMJB
Says Bangla Bhai adviser; asks why cops arrested him alone

Arrested Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) leader Lutfar Rahman yesterday said some ministers and the state machinery, including the police and district administration, patronised JMB chief Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai's "anti-outlaw" operations in Rajshahi region.

Lutfar enquired of the police why he alone was arrested. "I will tell the truth, even if I am killed or hanged to death," an investigator quoted him as saying after his arrest Monday afternoon.

"I did not find it wrong to be with the Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh [JMJB] as I saw several government officials patronising them. I heard Bangla Bhai talking over the phone with some ministers and a police super," Lutfar was quoted to be saying.

He told the police that the then superintendent of police (SP) Masud Mia used to be present near the meetings of Bangla Bhai.

In the middle of 2005, the then deputy inspector general initiated an investigation into Masud's activities. Later, the home ministry also started an investigation which is still running.

A magistrate court yesterday sent Lutfar on a five-day remand after the police produced him before the court seeking 10 days' remand.

The investigators said Lutfar primarily confessed that he was close to Bangla Bhai and helped the JMJB in their activities against the Sarbahara outlaws.

Bangla Bhai emerged with more than 20 outsiders, Lutfar told the police, adding that the JMJB helped the Bagmara dwellers build a self-defence against the outlaws.

Lutfar denied knowing the whereabouts of Bangla Bhai, saying he has not seen Bangla Bhai since the JMJB march in Rajshahi on May 23, 2004, threatening journalists and people.

He also denied his association with the JMB but admitted to taking part in several JMJB operations against the Sarbaharas after the then officer-in-charge Shamsul Islam formed committees with the JMJB men and villagers to resist the outlaws.

However, the JMJB is the same group that fought with police in Joypurhat in August 2003 under the name of JMB and started its activities openly in Rajshahi region during March-April of 2004.

Previously well known as a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, Lutfar said he attended several JMJB meetings in the villages of Bagmara in Rajshahi and Atrai in Naogaon to address people "in light of the holy Qur'an and the Hadith" and elicit their support for the JMJB.

He also said Rahman's relatives Abdul Awal and Ataur Rahman Sunny were known to him under different names during the anti-outlaw operations.

Lutfar told the investigators that he hates the current JMB activities of bombing and killing people.

Lutfar Rahman