Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  
Front Page

Bangla Bhai not creation of media
Admits Babar

Contradicting its earlier claims, the government has finally admitted that Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai is not a creation of the media.

"Given the present circumstance, there is no way but to admit that Bangla Bhai was not a creation of the media," State Minister for Home Affairs Lutfozzaman Babar said responding to a question at a press briefing at the home ministry following the arrest of the militant kingpin yesterday.

He also said the government had no clear idea about Bangla Bhai earlier but when it came to know about him, it went for action against him.

Babar also said no specific proof of the banned JMB's foreign connection has so far been found.

Replying to another question, the state minister said sedition charges against the militants including top JMB leaders Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai will be brought in a couple of days.

"Investigation and interrogation are now going on and preparations for filing sedition case have reached a stage. So, we will file sedition case in two weeks," Babar said.

The drive against militants will continue until their bases are uprooted, he stressed.

Trial of the militants, he said, will be completed in the shortest possible time.

Asked if the government would take action against ministers, lawmakers and the then superintendent of police of Rajshahi, who allegedly patronised Bangla Bhai, Babar said, "Our drive is against militant activities and any one found involved in them will face action as per law."

The state minister thought the number of JMB suicide squad members and activists is not big. Many JMB members are writing letters to the home ministry saying they were driven in a wrong direction and that they are now repentant for their activities, he mentioned.

Babar said the JMB network has been broken to a great extent, although not completely, but their ideology now has no footing.

"Some quarters are taking our success negatively. And someone is also terming it a drama but people will judge it, " he said without naming them.

The state minister praised Rab, police, ulema and the people in general for their cooperation in arresting the militant linchpins.

Arrests of Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai are a major success of the government, he said.

Replying to another question, Babar said the government has no intention to grant amnesty to militants.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Abdul Quayyum said three cases -- one for assault on law enforcer, one under Explosive Substances Act and one under Arms Act -- will be filed against Bangla Bhai in connection with the Muktagachha incident. Besides, investigation is going on in murder cases against Bangla Bhai in Rajshahi and Bogra regions.

He said charge sheets have already been submitted in 44 cases against Bangla Bhai for the August 17 serial blasts last year.

Lt Colonel Gulzar Uddin Ahmed, director of Rab intelligence wing, who led the operation in Muktagachha, narrated it.

Those present at the briefing included Home Secretary Safar Raj Hossain, Additional IGP Anwarul Iqbal, Director General (DG) of Rab MA Aziz Sarkar, the DG of National Security Intelligence and directors of different battalions of Rab.