May 8, 2021

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Custody under the pressure of reform

Hefazat-e-Islam leader Mamunul Haque and some others used to give provocative speeches in regular waz-mahfils and through social media to put pressure on the government by implementing political agenda. They wanted to create a volatile environment by speaking out against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Mamunuls were instructed to make anti-Modi statements at a meeting in Chittagong’s Hathazari last month. Despite claiming that Mamunul Haque had made statements to ‘strengthen’ his followers in remand, the police got information about the political plan in the investigation. Mufti Ilyas Hamidi, central co-finance secretary and vice-president of the Dhaka Metropolitan Committee, said in a confessional statement in the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday that Mamunul Haque had “strengthened the movement” with inflammatory remarks. The same information was found in the interrogation of the 12 arrested leaders.

RAB arrested Maulana Ataullah Amin, central co-organizing secretary of Hefazat, joint general secretary of Dhaka metropolis and joint secretary general of Bangladesh Khilafah Majlis, from Mohammadpur at midnight on Tuesday. Detective Branch (DB) arrested Allama Khurshid Alam Kasemi, Central Assistant Secretary General, Dhaka Metropolitan Vice President and Nayeb Amir of Bangladesh Khilafah Majlis, from his Mohammadpur residence on Wednesday. Besides, Mufti Sharafat Hossain, joint general secretary of Bangladesh Khilafah Majlis, was arrested from Mirpur Senpara Parbat area yesterday afternoon. He is close to Mamunul Haque, DB sources said.

The Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday remanded Maulana Korban Ali Qasemi, the vice-president and joint secretary general of the Bangladesh Khilafah Majlis, in custody for seven days. Earlier, the court granted 21-day remand to Central Assistant Secretary General Mufti Shakhawat Hossain Razi and Manjurul Islam Afendi in three cases filed by Paltan Police Station. Besides, after the Gazipur case, the court remanded ‘child speaker’ Rafiqul Islam Madani for four days in the anti-Modi sabotage case in Motijheel on March 25.

Meanwhile, the meeting between the Home Minister and Hefazat leaders with the police detectives on Monday did not make any progress on the issue. The police administration is in a strict position with three-point directives including the formation of a committee excluding the leaders of political parties including Mamunul Haque from custody. The people concerned also said that there are instructions to arrest all those whose names are coming up in the investigation of the case. According to sources, the detectives have received information about various irregularities in the control and management of Qawmi Madrasa by the political leaders of Hefazat. These cases can also lead to cases of financial fraud. On the other hand, the leaders of Hefazat are waiting for an agreement without a program after the meeting. There are also rumors about the Mamunul Haque controversy and the state of the organization.

Police officials involved in the investigation said that Mamunul Haque provoked the devout followers by making provocative statements through Waze and social media at different times. When questioned, he said, “I made such a comment under Josh. I give such a statement to strengthen the followers. ‘However, there is evidence that he spoke intentionally in his contacts and talks with the Jamaat supporters.

According to intelligence sources, the government is on the hard line regarding the custody leaders due to sabotage. The arrest is going on as per the instructions. There are no new guidelines after the compromise proposal. The police have given strict conditions to form a new committee excluding the leaders of the political parties in custody. Meanwhile, an intelligence report has been sent to higher authorities on how and by whom the big Qawmi madrassas are being controlled. Sources said that a case may also be filed against the Hefazat leaders who have committed irregularities in the madrasa.

Meanwhile, Hefazat leaders are worried about the overall situation. He is also communicating with various quarters by proposing a compromise in the meeting. They are also discussing the conditions given by the police. If you want to know the acting organizing secretary of the central committee of the custody Maulana. Mir Idris said, “It was informed by the organization in the meeting with the Home Minister that we have not made any movement against the government. Hefazat-e-Islam is not against the government. We protest from the organization when religious feelings are hurt. In response to a question on what the Home Minister said after raising these demands, he said, “I have asked you to talk to the Prime Minister.”

Meanwhile, Hefazat leaders are said to have held a secret arbitration meeting due to a dispute over Mamunul Haque’s marriage. At Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa in Mohammadpur, some leaders of Hefazat recently sat in a meeting with Mamunul. There, Mamunul Haque claimed that he had married Jannat Ara Jharna, a woman who was with him at a resort in Sonargaon. Mamunul presented the witnesses present at the wedding to the custody leaders. After the incident, the Hefazat leaders assured Mamunul of their cooperation. However, some of the leaders of Hefazat have become annoyed with Mamunul due to the leak of information about another marriage and the ongoing controversy. According to reliable sources, some of them have started communicating with the followers of the late Amir Ahmad Shafi in various quarters to form a new committee of custody.

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