JP,CPB men Lock Horns on the First Day of the Year
Although their political might has considerably diminished over the years since they splintered into small factions, the Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) and Jatiyo Party (JP-Ershad) have, it seems, risen from their ashes to make their presence felt. Their activists locked in a violent clash on January 1 to start of the new year. According to newspaper reports the violence was triggered when a JP procession celebrating the party's 20th anniversary tried to march towards the Baitul Mukarram mosque and came face to face with a CPB rally in front of the CPB office. Witnesses claimed that the JP activist swooped on the CPB activists armed with sticks after a brick has been hurled at them. They even resorted beating and hurled chairs. The CPB activists also followed suit. They responded by throwing chairs and brickbats. However, the CPB with its 200 activists was outnumbered by some 7,000 activists-strong JP procession. As the CPB activists retreated and took shelter in their office, JP activists unleashed a reign terror in front of the office building. They set fire to several bookshops on the footpath in front of the CPB office.
The clash left 25 activists of both the parties injured. It also claimed the life of a young man who while escaping from the scene of carnage was run over by a speeding bus and died on the spot. JP President HM Ershad along with his men went to the Dhaka Medical College and Hospital morgue and identified the person as Kabir Hossain of ward No 27 under Demra thana. While JP men claimed him as an activist of their party, police said that he was a passerby and did not belong to any of the two political parties.
The clash that inaugurated the year shows how intolerance has thoroughly sapped the political culture over the years. It was mostly the handiwork of the JP activists who during the clash damaged at least a dozen vehicles and set fire to several bookstalls and even ransacked a mobile phone shop. There were sporadic burst of violence in between 4;30 pm and 5;30 pm that left several members of the CPB central committee, including CPB President Mazurul Ahsan Khan, and a member of JP central committee members, including a female member, with minor injuries.
Arrested JMB Man Says He was in Shibir
No matter how hard the ameer of Jama'at-e-Islami tries to make the countrymen believe that his party has nothing to do with the rise of the Islamist militancy, the arrested Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) men seem to be providing clues contrary to his assertions. The latest incident of debunking took place when the JMB second-in-command on the night of December 31 admitted on interrogation that he was an activist of Islami Chhatra Shibir (ICS), the student organisation of Jama'at.
M Ziaur Rahman Sagor alias Shabbir was arrested under Explosive Substance Act in a case filed with Daulapur Police Station on the night of December 30. The JMB leader told police during interrogation that he joined ICS while he was student of Dastanbad Madrsa in Natore. He also stressed the fact that the teachers of the religious institution ignited his passion to take the route of Islam. "I was inspired by the madrasa teachers to join JMB and sacrifice my life for the cause of Islam," police sources said quoting Shabbir. He also told police of his taking up the responsibility for monitoring JMB affairs and activities in Khulna, Bagerhat and Gopalganj since 2005.
He was assigned to organise the August 17 serial bomb blasts in the region on instructions of JMB kingpin Abdur Rahman and under the supervision of Hafez Mahmud, JMB operation commander of southwestern region.
THE suicide-bomber in Chittagong, narrowly escaping death, confessed to the police about the ghastly blast he had carried out. He also spoke a lot about the activities of the banned Islamist outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
He informed a joint interrogation by police and intelligence agencies that all militant bomb blasts since August 17, including suicide attacks in Gazipur and Chittagong, were planned at the meetings at an Ahle Hadith mosque of Shakhipur and at the JMB hideout in the hilly area of Chittagong.
The chief of the JMB arms wing, Ataur Rahman Sunny and brother of JMB chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, is said to be the mastermind behind all these attacks, said Hossain. These militants were trained at JMB hideouts in Tangail.
Son of a farmer, Mojammel Hossain of Takerdala of Shakhipur, Tangail, and a student of Baset Khan High School, Hossain confessed that the notes recovered after the November 14 blast in Jhalakathi and Tuesday's suicidal blast in Chittagong were written by him.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) Commissioner Majedul Haq told reporters that besides the Chittagong suicidal blast Hossain Ali also gave important information on the blasts that took place at different places in the country.
(R) thedailystar.net 2006