Monday, September 8, 2008

Govt to ban 18 armed groups

The government is planning to officially ban 18 splinter groupings of clandestine armed communists soon, as law enforcing agencies identified them as organisations engaged in anti-state activities in 13 north-west and southern districts.

According to top officials of police and Rapid Action Battalion (Rab), the decision is being taken for the first time since the independence of the country, with an aim to eradicating such organisations before the next parliamentary election.

Responding to recommendations of different intelligence agencies, the police headquarters in early August sent a proposal to the home ministry for banning the outfits, sources said.

On Thursday, the home ministry in a top level meeting with chiefs of law enforcement and intelligence agencies discussed the matter and initiated a process of banning the outfits. Home Adviser Maj Gen (retd) MA Matin chaired the meeting.

Inspector General of Police (IGP) Nur Muhammad confirmed the initiative to The Daily Star saying, "The topic is being discussed."

Once the outfits are banned, they will hardly get any chance of slipping through legal loopholes, which has been common so far, as the new rules will be tougher, the home adviser said.

The government already banned Islamist militant outfits Shahadat-e Al Hikma, Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh, Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh, and Harkatul Jihad Al Islami.

Armed communist operations started in the country since the independence, but they splintered into many small groupings following intra-party rivalries over blessings of successive ruling parties during tenures of elected governments, and over establishing supremacy.

In the name of so called revolutionary agenda of capturing state power through armed struggle, the outfits so far killed hundreds of people including law enforcers, and robbed a number of police stations making off with government arms and ammunition.

Citing many previous killings of political leaders, the top officials of police and Rab said operatives of the outfits might become more active before the next parliamentary poll.

Intelligence wings of Rab and police identified 18 outfits and their 40 leaders who are active in 13 north-west and southern districts.

Among the 40 leaders, two were killed in 'crossfire' and six were arrested leaving the rest operating.

Among the outfits, Lal Potaka (Red Flag) faction of Purbo Banglar Communist Party Marxists-Leninist (PBCP M-L) is active in Rajshahi, Natore, Naogaon, Bogra, Pabna, Sirajganj, Kushtia, and in Gangni of Meherpur.

Red Flag used to be led by Dr Mizanur Rahman Tutul who died in 'crossfire' on July 27. The outfit is now being led by Madhu Babu alias Shafik.

Other leaders of the group are Ratan alias Titas, Abdus Salam Tapu, Zahangir alias Jalal, Rashid, Ibrahim Chairman, Khokon, Wali Chairman, and Anwar.

PBCP M-L Jana Juddha (People's War) faction is active in Jhenidah, Chuadanga, Meherpur, Pabna and Kushtia. It is now without a leader since its former chief Tapan Malitha alias Dada Tapan died in 'crossfire'.

PBCP M-L (Rashid) is operating in Khulna and in its adjoining areas led by Harun Sheikh, where another outfit Bangladesh New Biplobi Communist Party (BNBCP) led by Gazi Quamrul is also active.

BNBCP also has two others factions -- Mrinal Group led by Dev Prashad alias Manik, and Sailen Group led by Shailendranath Biswas.

Another outfit Sramajibi Mukti Andolon or Gana Mukti Fouj is active under the leadership of Aminul Islam Mukul in Jhenidah, Kushtia, Pabna, Chuadanga, Rajbari and Meherpur.

Other leaders of the outfit are Shahin Rumi, Shamsul Islam Robin, Anwar Hossain Debu, and Shisir.

Bangladesh Communist Oikkya Prokria is led by Mosarraf Hossain Musa in Jhenidah.

Omol Krishna Mandol, Hasanul Haq Hasu, and Swapan Chakrabarty are leading Bangladesh Biplobi Communist Party in Chuadanga, Kushtia, Meherpur, and Rajbari.

Nuruzzaman Laltu leads Banglar Communist Party in Chuadanga.

Roni Biswas is leading Bangladesh Communist Juddha in Chuadanga and Meherpur.

Samad Member, Aziz Commander, Kamrul Hasan Himu Kha, and Hapu alias Hasanul Haque are leading Sarbahara Group in Rajbari, Babuganj, Ujirpur, and in Gournadi of Barisal.

Sarbahara Sagor Group is active in Rajbari, led by Bulu Akhtar Sagor.

Sarbahara Party is led by Alam Sadhu and Edward Biswas Nanu in Pabna and Barisal while Sarbahara Zia Group is led by Nur Muhammad Sikdar, Abdur Rahim Hawladar, Fazle Rabbi, and Abdur Rahim Sikdar.

Sarbahara Poresh Group is active under the leadership Abul Kalam in Rajbari and Faridpur.

Jashod Gono Bahini of Azibor Chairman and Anwar Hossain Anu is active in Kushtia.

Regional Bahini is being led by Montu Chairman, Sayeed, and Malek in Pabna.

The leaders arrested so far are Ibrahim, Gazi Quamrul, Dev Prashad Manik, Nuruzzaman Laltu, Kamrul Hasan Himu Kha, and Abul

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