A joint team of Rab and BDR yesterday arrested Selim alias Saifullah, second-in-command and military affairs commander of JMB's new offshoot Islam O Muslim, at Belpara in Chapainawabganj.
Selim was arrested after an exchange of gunshots with the forces and he sustained a bullet wound in his leg, said Rab sources. They also recovered a pistol, nine bullets, three bullet shells and two empty magazines from the scene and his possession.
Immediately after the arrest of Islam O Muslim chief Abdur Rahman alias Shahadat, Selim fled to India. An intelligence agency finding out that he was back in Bangladesh informed Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) that he was hiding at his father-in-law's in Belpara, Shibganj.
Rab and Bangladesh Rifles (BDR) team surrounded the house of Selim's in-laws around 1:00pm. Selim fired three shots at the team in a bid to avoid arrest and the team retaliated with five shots.
In a press conference last night, Director of Rab-5 Lt Col Israt Hossain said, "Selim, expert in light weaponry, used to collect arms for JMB."
He said Rab tracked Selim down based on Boma Mizan's confessional statement.
Arrested Islam O Muslim chief Abdur Rahim alias Shahadat and two of his associates also confirmed Selim's position in the new offshoot, said Lt Col Israt.
While describing the arrest, Rab officials said Selim used to go to India frequently. He used to provide Rajshahi and Chapainawabganj JMB and its new offshoot with arms.
After the execution of JMB top leaders Shaekh Abdur Rahman and Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, JMB leaders were divided over ideological, economical and different other issues.
The Rajshahi Rab chief said, "The divided leaders later formed new outfits and were engaged in recruiting fresh members across the country."
Shahadat and Selim were trying to reorganise the inactive JMB members across the country under the new banner of Islam O Muslim, sources said.
Meanwhile, police yesterday arrested Nazmul Haque Tuhin, a convicted JMB member as he came out of Rajshahi Central Jail on a High Court bail.
Tuhin, 34, of Harail in Joypurhat Sadar, was sent to jail after he surrendered before a court on October 12, 2005. He was later convicted in a case filed in connection with the August 17, 2005 serial blasts and sentenced to 30 years' imprisonment by a Rajshahi court.
Talking to the press, Tuhin protested his innocence and said he was framed by a businessman who had strong ties with some rogue policemen.