Vol. 5 Num 1022 Tue. April 17, 2007  

Militants changing banners
Tangail police quizzing 8 former JMB men who were active under 'Allar Dal'

The eight Islamist militants arrested in Tangail Saturday night are former cadres of banned Islamist militant organisation Jamaatul Mujahidin Bangladesh (JMB).

They were carrying on their activities in Tangail under different banners, police sources said yesterday.

The 8 arrested militants are being quizzed on a seven-day remand.

Police said they were trying to mislead interrogators by giving confusing statements. But they admitted that their party wants to 'establish sovereignty of Allah' under the leadership of Matin Mehdi of Gaibandha.

Matin Mehdi is a JMB leader convicted in the August 17 serial bomb blasts case in Gaibandha. Mehdi, also convicted in another bomb blast case in Jhenidah, is absconding, police sources said.

Some of the arrestees said they were members of Islamist militant outfit Allar Dal, launched in 1995 and subsequently banned.

Police produced the arrestees before a court in Tangail on Sunday afternoon. The court placed them on seven-day remand.

After arrest, SI Mosharaf Hossain of Tangail Sadar police station filed a case against the eight under the Special Powers Act for their alleged involvement in militancy. SI Animesh Chandra Sarkar of the same police station is the investigation officer (IO) of the case.

Acting on a tip-off, a team from Tangail Sadar police led by officer-in-charge (OC) Ashraf Hossain raided a house in Purbo Adalat Para area in Tangail town Saturday midnight and arrested Shah Mohammad Ferdous Tazim, 24, and Rizmul Alam, 25 along with some Jihadi (revolution) books, training manuals and other papers.

Following their confessional statements, police on the same night arrested Mohammad Bulbul, 26, Delwar Hossain, 35 and Abdul Aziz, 25 from Santosh Baluchara area near Tangail town.

During the drive, police also arrested Liton Miah, 25, Alal Uddin, 24 and Mohammad Rafiqul Islam, 36, from Aloa, Bhabanipur, and Nagar Jalpai villages in the Sadar upazila.

Police said Shah Mohammad Ferdous Tazim claimed himself to be the 'regional chief' of a party for six districts in greater Mymensingh. Mohammad Rafiqul Islam identified himself as its chief in Tangail district.

The arrestees told interrogators that their party is yet to be named. "This statement was made only to mislead police and hide their real identity. But they gave to understand that they had links with JMB", a senior police official told this correspondent seeking anonymity.

They told police that their party chief is nick-named 'Taraka' (star) and the man next to him is called 'Chief Superintendent'. The third category leaders of their party is called 'Chief Executive'.

Arrested Ferdous Tazim and Rizmul Alam were of the status of 'Chief Executive'.

Ashraf Hossain, officer-in-charge in Tangail Sadar police station, said they are verifying the militants' information.

"We are interrogating the militants separately," the OC added.

Tangail Police Superintendent Sheikh Mohammad Maruf Hassan said, "Arrested militants told police that Ferdous Tazim and Rizmul Alam are policymakers of the organisation while Matin Mehedi of Gaibandha, who is convicted in the August 17, 2005 countrywide bombing case, is their main coordinator".

The law enforcers are conducting drives in different areas to find out their other dens and net militants, the SP added.

The 8 alleged Islamist militants arrested in Tangail Saturday night. PHOTO: STAR