Thursday, March 12, 2009

4 mutineers said to be ex-JMB men

At least four of the mutineers of the Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) are believed to have been active members of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) before they joined the paramilitary force.

They all hail from Bagmara of Rajshahi, the stronghold of the Islamist militant outfit JMB, where extremists led by JMB's former operation commander Bangla Bhai, later executed, launched their atrocities. 

Anwar, one of the four was well-known cadre of Bangla Bhai. He was allegedly involved in the murder of Awami League (AL) leader Yasin in 2004 in Bagmara.

A team of the 'operation rebel hunt' has recently raided houses of Anwar, Ismail, Kawsar and Aftab but in vain. 

The four were present at Pilkhana during the mutiny before they fled and they are still on the lam, said officers engaged in the 'operation rebel hunt'. 

“There might be many more like them and we are looking into it”, said one of the officers. 

The officers said some 10 to 12 rebel soldiers took shelter at Ismail's house at Sakoa village after they fled from Pilkhana on February 26. 

The team also picked up a BDR soldier Abdul Barik from Jamloy village for interrogation. Barik was on leave during the mutiny, but he met the fugitive mutineers at Ismail's house. 

During a visit to Bagmara yesterday, the JMB torture victims and villagers expressed their astonishment at the enrolment of the four as BDR soldiers despite being cadres of JMB.

JMB men beat up AL publicity secretary of Maria union Yasin Ali Mridha and later hung him upside down from a tree on Kudapara Ahadia Dakhil Madrassah premises before killing him on June 30, 2004.

Kawsar's father Abdur Rahman, a member of Maria union parishad, claimed that his son is innocent.

When contacted Superintendent of Police of Rajshahi M Shahabuddin Khan said he was unaware how those militants obtained police clearance for joining BDR. “I was not in Rajshahi then; I will have to investigate the matter,” he added.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=79353

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