Vol. 5 Num 577 Mon. January 09, 2006  
Front Page

Grenades found from Satkhira Jamaat leader
PM's tour cancelled on bad weather

Police yesterday recovered two grenades from the house of a Jamaat leader on the outskirts of Satkhira town and arrested his son.

During the raid on the house of Jamaat Rokan Moulana Yunus Ali at Dhalipara yesterday noon, they also seized some books on Jihad and Shibir. Yunus' son Abdullah Al Mamun, 21, is an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir, student wing of ruling coalition partner Jamaat-e-Islami.

Militant kingpin Asadullah-al-Galib, chief of a faction of Ahle Hadith Andolan, Bangladesh, also hails from the same area.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister (PM) Khaleda Zia's scheduled visit to Satkhira was cancelled as the government said the chopper carrying her could not land because of fog.

But rumours of a planned bomb attack on her meeting venue were widely circulated in Satkhira.

In Satkhira, as the news of the recovery spread, panic swept the audience at the meeting venue, 17 kilometres off the district headquarters.

Earlier, the local administration and BNP had completed all preparations for different programmes including the rally.

A huge number of people gathered at the playground of GKMK Pilot High for the meeting scheduled to start at 2:00pm. But soon rumours began to spread that a JMB suicide squad, which was already in the town for some time, had started for the venue. By this time, news came that the PM had cancelled her visit, fearing a bomb attack.

Officer-in-Charge of Satkhira Sadar Police Station Mohammad Shahjahan told reporters that they have recovered two grenade-like objects from the house of Moulana Yunus Ali, also a teacher of Srirampur Madrasa.

Mamun, the arrestee, said the bomb-like objects were seized from under the barn of his uncle Razaul Islam and he does not know anything about it.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Khulna Range Noor Mohammad told reporters that the objects were recovered following a tip-off from National Security Intelligence (NSI). He said the objects were stuffed full of crushed stones and wrapped in ropes.

Around 5,000 members of police, Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), ansar and the army were deployed on either of the road stretching from Satkhira to Kalaroa to ensure security.

A 25-km stretch of road from the district town to Kazirhat on Satkhira-Jessore Highway was sealed and all markets and shops along the road were closed since 10:00am.

UNB Adds: The PM left the capital for Satkhira in a helicopter at 2:40pm but had to return due to lack of visibility in the upper atmosphere, official sources said.

She regretted the inconveniences caused to the locals for her not being able to be there due to the inclement weather.

According to the Prime Minister's Office, the schedule for her next visit to Satkhira will be announced later.

Khaleda was scheduled to inaugurate the newly built buildings of Satkhira Polytechnic Institute and Kolaroa Poura Bhaban. She was to lay the foundation stone for a 50-bed Kolaroa Upazila Hospital and Upazila Parishad Auditorium.