Vol. 5 Num 483 Tue. October 04, 2005  
Front Page

Rise of a terrorist

Mufti Hannan, prime accused in a plot to assassinate the then prime minister Sheikh Hasina in July 2000, was reportedly trained in Peshawar in Pakistan and sent to Afghanistan to fight the former Soviet army.

Hannan had started education at Gohardanga Madrasa in Tungipara in Gopalganj and went to Indian Deoband Madrasa where he studied for six years. He however slipped to Karachi in Pakistan for further madrasa study.

He had moved to Afghanistan on completion of his education in Karachi and trained as a firearms expert to fight the invading Soviet army.

When the Afghan war was over with the fall of the Nazibullah government, Hannan returned home in 1995 with many other Bangladeshis. He brought home a rifle given to him by the Afghan leaders during the war.

He had established an organisation with students from different Qawmi madrasas at Kotalipara in Gopalganj. He moved to the Gopalganj town and set up a soap factory, Sonar Bangla Chemical, at the BSCIC plot.

The soap factory is believed to have been used for making bombs.

Hannan experimentally exploded a bomb at an Urs [religious gathering] of a shrine at Gurbazar in Faridpur in 2000, which left a hafez dead. An accused in the attempt on Hasina case had told police about the blast.

The accused, Kamaluddin Shaker, was later exempted from the case on recommendation of a ruling party lawmaker.

Hannan is the second son of notorious 'Rajakar' [collaborator] Nooruddin Munshi of Uttar Heron village in Kotalipara. Nooruddin was a Muslim League activist who helped the Pakistani occupation forces bulldoze the house of his brother-in-law Kashem Munshi, a freedom fighter and Awami League leader, during the Liberation War.

Hannan's father was shot dead after independence.

Hannan has five brothers -- Nannu Munshi (eldest), Moti Munshi (third), Iqbal Munshi (fourth), Mafiz Munshi (fifth) and Anis Munshi (youngest).

He had instructed Moti Munshi and Iqbal Munshi to join Jatiyatabadi Juba Dal and the BNP. Moreover, he allowed Anisur Rahman to get involved in Bangladesh Chhatra League politics.

The previous Awami League government had announced a bounty of Tk 5 lakh for him.

There are four cases -- two each with Gopalganj and Kotalipara police stations -- against Hannan filed in 2000.

He was sentenced to life-term imprisonment in one of the cases filed with Gopalganj Police Station under the Arms Act.

The other case with Gopalganj Police Station was filed under the Explosive Substances Act and another case was filed against him under the same charge with Kotalipara Police Station. The fourth one is a sedition case.

He used to pass most of his time in Faridpur by doing organisational activities. Shamsul Ulum Madrasa in Faridpur was his second stronghold after Gopalganj.

By this time he had emerged as the Bangladesh chapter chief of international Islamist militant outfit Harkatul Jihad (Huji).

He reportedly has contact with leaders of different Islamic political organisations including Jamaat-e-Islami, Islami Oikya Jote (IOJ) and Ahle Hadith Andolan, Bangladesh (Ahab).

Hannan had bought about 30 bighas of land in his village home on return from Afghanistan.

He announced in 1999 to capture the state power through armed movement at Pourapark in Gopalganj. He also addressed a huge rally of Touhidi Janata in August the same year at Janata Bank crossing in Faridpur.