Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Investigators in Rajshahi are trying to detect whether there is any link between BDR rebels and the patrons of outlawed Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).
The investigators have information about recruitment of a number of JMB or other outfits' operatives as border guards since 2004 on political recommendations, say officials involved in the Operation Rebel Hunt.
A number of politicians were arrested, went into hiding, or were affected in some ways since the 1/11 changeover following their alleged patronage of militancy.
"We have asked the BDR Headquarters for a list of new recruits from Rajshahi and neighbouring districts. Identifying the recruits will take time as necessary documents are now scattered," says a senior officer.
He adds they are likely to take help from the computerised database prepared during the voters' registration with photograph for properly identifying these men.
The official informs that they will emphasise how many soldiers were recruited since 2004, if any of them was involved with Pilkhana mutiny, who recommended their recruitment, and whether those were engaged to militancy before.
"If any soldier is found to have links to militancy before, the people concerned who issued their clearance will also be brought to book," he says replying to a question.
Militants might have been recruited as their prize for taking part in the so-called vigilante actions against underground operatives belonging to Purba Banglar Communist Party, the investigators argue.
Meanwhile, a rebel hunt team of police, Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) and army personnel raided different villages including Polasi, Kamarbari, Maria, Sakoa and Goalkandi in Bagmara upazila Wednesday night.
The targeted fugitives -- Anwar, Altaf, Ismail and Kawsar -- escaped the dragnet, while a mobile set of a fugitive was seized.
Relatives of the families told newspersons some 10 to 12 mutinous soldiers took shelter at Ismail's house in Sakoa after they fled from Pilkhana on February 26. The soldiers include Rohidul, Saiful, Hossain Ali, Barik and Golam Rabbani.
Locals say all these BDR men were directly involved with JMB as they were seen roaming with hockey sticks with JMB's executed leader Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai in 2004. They were present during the Pilkhana carnage, their family members confirm.
After hiding for two days, they left Ismail's house saying they were returning to the headquarters.
"We have yet to know whether the fugitives have joined Pilkhana," an investigator told The Daily Star. He added, "We knew four of them had links with JMB."
MILITANT PATRONSJMB under the banner of Bangla Bhai's Jagrata Muslim Janata, Bangladesh (JMJB) emerged in a "jungle rule" for the first time in Rajshahi allegedly with state sponsors during the BNP-Jamaat coalition rule in April 2004.
The outfit brutally killed some 25 people in broad daylight and maimed some 500 others in Rajshahi region in only three months in the name of vigilante actions against the underground communist operatives.
Former BNP bigwigs Barrister Aminul Haque, Ruhul Quddus Talukdar Dulu, Alamgir Kabir, Nadim Mostafa and Mizanur Rahman Minu and a number of other former ruling coalition leaders allegedly blatantly patronised the militants using the police and administration. Even the then government high-ups supported the militants in 2004-05.
Aminul went into hiding since the 1/11 changeover. Later he was convicted in a case for militancy abetting and jailed for 31 years, while Dulu has been sentenced to 18 years imprisonment in two cases for abetting arson prior to the launch of militant activities.
Haque and Dulu are facing trial in some other militancy abetting cases that are now stayed.
Alamgir Kabir was sued in two cases for abetting militancy, but his name was dropped from police charges.
Minu was named in a militancy abetting case, but the case was withdrawn later.
Former BNP lawmaker Nadim Mostafa, who is sentenced to ten years imprisonment in two cases of extortion and criminal activities, is also named in three cases for abetting militancy. He went into hiding after the 1/11.