Killing of Dulu's nephew saw his arrival |
It was 2003. And it was outlaws who literally ruled the Rajshahi, Naogaon and Natore regions, killing people one after another in the name of class enemy cleansing.
Operatives of the Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP) murdered Mazedur Rahman Mridha, a cousin of deputy minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukhdar Dulu in April 2003. In February next year, they killed Dulu's nephew Sabbir Ahmed Gama and threatened to kill the lawmaker too.
A retaliation was on the cards. Over 50 friends of Gama, a Jubo Dal leader, with assistance began hunt for outlaws in villages of the Naldanga, Bagmara and Atrai, Raninagar upazila. But their efforts were not enough to deal with highly organised outlaws.
Siddikul Islam Bangla Bhai, reportedly a well-wisher of Dulu's family, was active in these areas since 2001.
Some elderly people said Bangla Bhai's father Nazir Hossain Pramanik was a zaigeer (live-in tutor) at Dulu's village home at Ramsa Kazipur in Naldanga of Natore, a claim the lawmaker saw as conspiracy.
"Bangla Bhai father never stayed at our house. How is it possible? My house is at Naldanga in Natore and his at Bogra. It is a tale told by those who are conspiring against me," Dulu told The Daily Star.
However, Bangla Bhai kicked off his infamous reign of terror soon after the killing of Gama. On April 1, 2004, Bangla Bhai began his jungle rule by hacking Osman (Babu) to death with swords. Later, the group along with some 300 cadres from outside killed some 22 people and tortured several hundreds between April 1 and July 31.
On the first day, local journalists heard the name of their organisation as al-Qaeeda, on the second day it became Mujahidin Alliance Council for protecting Muslims (Muslim Rakkha Mujahidin Oikyya Parishad). By the second week of April the party was named as Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh.