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Posts from — September 2016

Time to shuffle the deck: season of political personnel changes in China’s Communist Party goes up a gear By Nectar Gan in South China Morning Post, Sept 28, 2016

The opening in late October of the Chinese Communist Party’s key sixth plenum – or assembly meeting of all members – is the latest session of the Central Committee’s current tenure and signifies the start of Beijing’s five-yearly political reshuffle season, lasting until the 18th party congress late next year.

A series of personnel changes at the provincial level are already underway in the lead up to a major reshuffle at the apex of the party at the next party congress, which will see the replacement of five of the seven members of the Politburo Standing Committee.

At least once a year, about 370 members and alternates of the Central Committee meet in the military-run Jinxi Hotel, in Beijing – arguably the safest and most exclusive hotel in China – to discuss personnel appointments, state policies and party affairs.

Here we take a closer look at the background to these assembly meetings.

Key Communist Party plenum set for late October

What are these plenary sessions?

The plenums refer to the meetings attended by members of the CPC’s Central Committee, which exercises the power of the National Congress of the CPC. These sessions are held at least once a year until the convening of the next party congress. Conventionally, seven plenary sessions are held during the five-year tenure of each Central Committee.

Who are the participants?

Since they are plenary sessions, all members of the CPC’s Central Committee – including the 200-or-so full members and the several dozen alternative members – are supposed to be present.

As a result of President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption crackdown, nine full members of the CPC’s Central Committee and 13 alternative members have been netted since the 18th party congress – exceeding the total number of downfalls of all the full and alternative members in the 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th Central Committees of the CPC.

What are the general functions of each plenary session?

First Plenum:  Held right after the end of the five-yearly full national congress, the newly elected Central Committee will in turn generate the 25-strong Politburo and the innermost Politburo Standing Committee members, which have seven people in the current session, including President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

Second Plenum:  Proposes the list of candidates for the leadership personnel of the government and the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, China’s top political advisory body for the National People’s Congress to ratify. Usually happens before the “two sessions” – the joint plenary meetings of the NPC and CPPCC.:  Third Plenum:  It was at the third plenum in 1978 that former leader Deng Xiaoping announced the Reform and Opening Up policy, which spearheaded major market-oriented reforms and opened China’s door to the outside world. Thereafter, subsequent party leaders’ first third plenum are usually viewed as the most important plenum where they would table their major political or economic reforms agenda.

Fourth Plenum: This discusses how to improve the CPC’s governing capacity. The last fourth plenum, held in October 2014, focused on the rule of law.

Fifth Plenum: Usually dedicated to discussions about the government’s five-year plans, to be finally approved at the next year’s national legislature plenary.

Sixth Plenum

Discusses improvements in the general morality of society and the CPC, in addition to cultural reforms. This is the most important plenary session in the run-up to the massive leadership reshuffle during the party congress in the autumn of the following year.

Seventh Plenum: Usually convenes shortly before the party’s national congress and discusses the draft Politburo’s work report to be presented at the congress.http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2023322/time-shuffle-deck-season-political-personnel-changes

 

September 30, 2016   No Comments

China wants to consolidate relations with Bangladesh Report in bdnews24.com, Sept 29, 2016

China’s Ambassador in Dhaka Ma Mingqiang has spoken of strengthening ties with Bangladesh ahead of President Xi Jinping expected visit on Oct 14.

On the 67th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China, he also said on Wednesday China stood “firmly” by Bangladesh to fight terrorism which is a “common threat” of the two countries.

There is no official announcement of the Chinese President’s visit, but relevant officials at the foreign ministry told bdnews24.com he would make a short visit before his travel to India for BRICS summit on Oct 15.

Dhaka is preparing at least 25 projects worth over $20 billion for Chinese support during the visit.

Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal praised China’s growth while speaking at the reception, and said “our relation is very warm and based on mutual understanding”.

“China is supporting us on our way forward,” he said, adding that “China would be number one economy in the world by 2030 and they will also be looking after neighbours very closely.”

The ambassador hosted the reception at the embassy where senior politicians of ruling Awami League and major opposition BNP attended, among others.

Senior politicians Awami League General Secretary and Public Administration Minister Syed Ashraful Islam, Commerce Minister Tofail Ahmed, Industries Minister Amir Hossain Amu and State Minister for Foreign Affairs Md Shahriar Alam were present.

Senior BNP leaders including Abdul Moyeen Khan and Khandaker Mosharraf Hossain also joined the reception..

The ambassador said China remained committed to Dhaka as a “trusted development partner” as Bangladesh aimed at becoming a middle-income country by 2021.

“We two people are of same mind. And I see the shared desire for a better future,” he said.

“China stands ready to work with Bangladesh to enhance the bilateral relations and consolidate the time-tested relations further.”

He said the two countries enjoy “mutual understanding and mutual trust with strong support from the two people”.http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/09/29/china-wants-to-consolidate-relations-with-bangladesh

September 30, 2016   No Comments

ACC arrests ex-DG of Coast Guard: Report in The Daily Star, Sept 29, 2016

The Anti-Corruption Commission arrested former director general of Bangladesh Coast Guard Shafiq-ur-Rahman in Dhaka early today in connection with a corruption case.

A team of the anti-graft body arrested Rahman from his DOHS residence at Mohakhali area in the capital around 1:30am, reports Bangla daily Prothom Alo.

In 1998, a case was filed against five people including Rahman with the then Bureau of Anti-Corruption (Bac), which became defunct after the formation of the ACC in 2004, for embezzling around Tk 7 crore while purchasing 11,100 metric tons of wheat, the daily reports quoting the ACC sources.http://www.thedailystar.net/city/acc-arrests-ex-dg-coast-guard-1291501

September 30, 2016   No Comments

Two Bangladeshi-Germans on remand after arrest with arms at airport Report in bdnews24.com, Sept 28, 2016

A Dhaka court has granted police three days to grill two German citizens of Bangladeshi origin held at Shahjalal International Airport.

Customs officials on Tuesday detained Anisul Islam Talukder and Md Monir Ben Ali at Dhaka airport for carrying ‘firearms’.

The two men allegedly tried to sneak out of the airport on the pretext that the nine firearms they were carrying were toys. They had earlier arrived in Dhaka via Dubai.

They were later handed over to the Airport Police Station.

The station’s Inspector Shafikul Islam presented the two before the Dhaka District Judge’s Court and sought a 10-day remand for interrogation.

Judge Noor Nahar Yasmin granted a three-day remand, the police crime, investigation and prosecution department Deputy Commissioner Md Anisur Rahman said.

He told bdnews24.com that the duo had been arrested under the Special Powers Act.http://bdnews24.com/bangladesh/2016/09/28/two-bangladeshi-germans-on-remand-after-arrest-with-arms-at-airport

September 30, 2016   No Comments

SC upholds death penalty for mentally ill murder convict: AFP report, 28-Sep-16

ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday dismissed an appeal brought by lawyers for a mentally ill prisoner facing execution, and a rights group said he could now be hanged next week.

Imdad Ali, who is aged around 50, was sentenced to death for the murder of a religious cleric in 2002. He had been scheduled to hang on September 20 in a prison in Vehari despite having been diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Ali received a last-minute stay of execution from the top court last week. But with that stay now expired, he could receive a new “black warrant” and face execution as early as next Tuesday.

The Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), which is providing Ali with counsel, has sent a mercy petition to President Mamnoon Hussain along with testimony from medical experts.

“It is indisputable that Imdad suffers from serious mental illness,” said Harriet McCulloch, deputy director of the death penalty team at international charity Reprieve.

“It is shocking that the system has failed Imdad at every turn – right the way up to the Supreme Court. The Pakistan government must immediately halt Imdad’s execution, and undertake a comprehensive review into how someone who is clearly mentally unfit to be executed has been allowed to come so near to the noose,” said McCulloch.

The government reinstated the death penalty and established military courts after suffering its deadliest-ever extremist attack, when gunmen stormed Army Public School in 2014 and killed more than 150 people – mostly children.

Hangings were initially reinstated only for those convicted of terrorism, but later extended to all capital offences. The number of those executed since then now stands at 419 from more than 8,000 death-row prisoners.

A new report by JPP and Yale Law School issued Tuesday said, “Pakistan’s criminal legal system is riddled with errors that prevent it from adjudicating capital cases fairly.”

It accused authorities of having hanged six people who were juveniles at the time of their offences and said the length of time prisoners spent on death row – 11.5 years on average – harms their mental and physical health. http://dailytimes.com.pk/islamabad/28-Sep-16/sc-upholds-death-penalty-for-mentally-ill-murder-convict

September 30, 2016   No Comments

AK-22, rifle recovered in Ctg raid : report in The Daily Star, sept 28, 2016

Chittagong: The Rapid Action Battalion claimed to have recovered firearms, including an AK-22 rifle, from a slum in the port city yesterday.

Acting on a tip-off, a Rab-7 team recovered two rifles, two magazines, four machetes and 16 rocket flares from different shanties of Bastuhara Slum during a three-hour raid from 8:30am, said officials of the elite force.

Bastuhara Slum, built on Railway land, is infamous for drug peddling and clashes between rival groups over establishing supremacy there.

The groups used locally-made firearms and sharp weapons, but the recovery of the AK-22 rifle is an indication of militant’s involvement, said Rab.

The arms might belong to militants as AK-22 appears to be their favourite, said Lt Col Miftah Uddin Ahmed, commanding officer of Rab-7.

Militants in guise of low-income people might have kept the weapons there, he said, adding that the culprits fled sensing law enforcers’ presence.

The Rab, however, detained two people for interrogation, said Miftah, but did not disclose their identities.
“We are yet to confirm who brought the weapons to the slum. We are investigating.”

Militants used AK-22 rifles during the Holey Artisan attack in Gulshan on July 1.

Miftah said last year Rab recovered nine more AK-22 rifles, eight from the dens of militant outfit Shahid Hamja Brigade and one from pirates in Sandwip, Chittagong.

The firearm was also recovered from the militant dens in Dhaka’s Kalyanpur and Narayanganj.

Bastuhara Slum houses about 300 shanties. Locals, however, believe the recovered weapons belong to drug peddlers, who sell yaba tablets, phensidyl and cannabis.

A slum dweller said they cannot protest against the criminals for fear of life.http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/ak-22-rifle-recovered-ctg-raid-1290808

September 29, 2016   No Comments

Tahrir ‘chief’ indicted: report in The Daily Star, sept 28, 2016

By Chaitanya Chandra Halder and Tuhin Shubhra Adhikary
A Dhaka court yesterday framed charges against Mohiuddin Ahmed, allegedly the chief coordinator of banned outfit Hizb-ut Tahrir Bangladesh, in a case filed for threatening the public security and sovereignty of the country.

Five other members of the radical organisation, including its alleged joint coordinator, were also indicted in the case.

The court fixed October 24 for beginning of the trial with the testimony of the complainant, a sub-inspector of Uttara Model Police Station who filed the case in 2010.

Judge Kamrul Hossain Mollah of Metropolitan Sessions Judge’s Court passed the indictment order over three and a half years after detectives pressed charges against them.

The long delay was apparently because of the prosecution’s not getting the government permission to proceed with the case.

A trial court needs government permission before accepting charges in any case filed under the Anti Terrorism Act, 2009.

Of the accused, Mohiuddin, 43, is a Dhaka University teacher now on forced leave while Kazi Morshedul Haque alias Plaban, 48, is allegedly the Islamist group’s joint coordinator.
The four other accused are Tanvir Ahmed, 26, Towhidul Alam alias Chanchal, 36, Saidur Rahman alias Rajib, 26 and Abu Yusuf Ali, 34.

All on bail, Mohiuddin, Morshedul, Saidur and Yusuf yesterday appeared before the court and pleaded not guilty.

Towhidul fled after getting bail from the High Court, court sources said.

A defence counsel for Tanvir yesterday sought time but the court rejected his prayer and issued arrest warrant against the accused.

Before framing charges, the court also rejected the discharge petitions of Mohiuddin, Morshedul and Yusuf.

CASE BACKGROUND

According to the charge sheet, a group of Tahrir men gathered at sector-3 in Uttara on April 18, 2010 to distribute anti-government and anti-state leaflets. They were also planning to create panic among the public by using petrol bombs and other explosives.

Acting on a tip-off, police arrested Tanvir, Saidur and Towhidul from the spot with leaflets and two petrol bombs. Six to seven other members of the outfit managed to escape.

They were committing the offences at the “instruction and instigation” of Mohiuddin, the charge sheet reads.

Mahmudur Rahman, detained acting editor of the Amar Desh, was shown arrested in the case and taken on remand after Mohiuddin and Morshedul during interrogation said he was involved in the Uttara incident.

On February 9, 2013, DB Inspector Nurul Amin, who is the investigation officer of the case, submitted charges against the six and dropped Mahmudur’s name as his involvement was not proved beyond reasonable doubt.

The IO also dropped the names of three accused — Shahjalal Bulbul, Mustafizur Rahman alias Rony and Engineer Iqbal — as he could not collect their full addresses.

REASON BEHIND THE DELAY

After receiving the charge sheet, the prosecutor of the case sent a letter to the home ministry for its permission, so that the court can take the charge sheet into cognisance and proceed with the case.

“We could not proceed with the case due to the delay in getting government approval,” Taposh Kumar Pal, additional public prosecutor of the court, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Court sources said the prosecution sent three letters to the home ministry to get the approval. The last one was sent in March this year.

This newspaper tried to contact the home minister for his comment but could not reach him.

Police arrested Mohiuddin, an associate professor at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) of Dhaka University, on April 20, 2010 from his Green Road residence in the capital. He had virtually been placed under house arrest for six months before his arrest.

He obtained bail on May 3, 2011 and was released from jail in February the next year. The other five accused were also released on bail. The home ministry gave its approval on July 26 this year and the court took the case into cognisance on September 6.

The prosecutor cited 16 people as the witnesses.

M Amzad Ali, acting proctor of the DU, told The Daily Star yesterday that Mohiuddin was sent on forced leave in 2009 and the leave still continues. “The university will take final action after the final verdict in the case,” he added.

In a press statement on July 14 this year, Mohiuddin claimed he had no links with Tahrir. He claimed he was not even a member of the organisation.

Hizb-ut Tahrir, a global and pan-Islamic political organisation, which describes its aim as the re-establishment of “the Islamic Caliphate”, was founded by Islami thinker Tokiuddin Al Nakhani in 1953 in Jerusalem, five years after Israel captured Palestine.

Syed Golam Mowla, then a lecturer of management at the DU, went to the UK in late 80s to do PhD and he was there introduced to two Bangladeshis — Nasimul Gani and Kawsar Shahnewaz.

The three went to several open discussions on Hizb ut-Tahrir in London, according sources in the outfit as well as law enforcement agencies.

After returning to Bangladesh in 2000, Nasimul and Shahnewaz set up an office on Elephant Road in the capital for the organisation’s Bangladesh chapter and launched the group’s activities under Golam Mowla’s leadership, the sources added.

Contacted yesterday, Mowla, now a professor, said he started informal discussion in Bangladesh over Hizb-ut Tahrir but when the origination took formal shape, Mohiuddin was made its chief coordinator.

“I have not been involved with the organisation since the government banned it in 2009,” he claimed.

DU acting proctor M Amzad Ali said, “A case has been filed against Golam Mowla but the verdict has yet to be delivered. He is taking classes and staying at the teachers’ quarters. We did not take any decision on him. Proper steps will be taken against him after the verdict.”

In its recruitment policy, the urban-based organisation targeted university and college students who are from well-off families. In the beginning, its activities were limited to seminars and discussions in auditoriums or halls. Later on, its presence was noticed on the streets too.

In a report in 2005, the intelligence agencies expressed fears that the group may turn into an extremist organisation any time and suggested closely monitoring its activities.

In September 2008, Rajshahi police arrested Golam Mowla and nine of his associates at Rajshahi City Press Club on suspicion of promoting militancy in the country. Later, he was released on bail.

Hizb-ut Tahrir was banned in October 2009 as it had long been engaged in “anti-state, anti-government, anti-people and anti-democratic activities in the country”.

Though outlawed, its activists carried out clandestine activities, including holding rallies, putting up anti-government posters and circulating leaflets in different parts of the capital.

Tahrir’s name came to the forefront again during the spate of targeted killings in last year and this year as two of its activists were found to have been involved in at least two incidents.

Golam Faizullah Fahim, one of the three attackers who badly hacked a Madaripur college teacher in June this year, admitted to be a member of Hizb-ut Tahrir, police said.

Fahim was killed in a “shootout”, four days into the machete attack.

Besides, Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Sifat, whom police identified as a key plotter of the killing of publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan last year, was also an activist of Hizb-ut Tahrir.

Sifat, who is from Sunamganj, was arrested from Gobindaganj Bazar while distributing leaflets of Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2010. He was a student of Madan Mohan College at that time, police say.

Sifat, who later got involved with pro-al-Qaeda militant outfit Ansar al-Islam, another banned Islamist outfit, was made an accused in a case filed with Chhatak Police Station under the Anti-Terrorism Act. He was arrested in August this year.

On January 8, 2012, Hizb ut-Tahrir distributed provocative leaflets across the country based on a Facebook post of Syed Mohammad Ziaul Haque alias Major Zia, a sacked army person now considered the mastermind behind the target killings in the country.http://www.thedailystar.net/frontpage/tahrir-chief-indicted-1290850

September 29, 2016   No Comments

MQM’s moment of truth?: by SHAHAB USTO in Dawn, September 27th, 2016

The writer is a lawyer and academic.
FROM its inception, the MQM has remained an enigma both to its hardcore supporters and sworn enemies. Starting off as a small group of ‘disaffected’ students espousing the ‘Mohajir cause’, it soon became a formidable political force in urban Sindh.

Not long after, it transformed into a national party despite touching the pinnacle of power built on ethnic politics. It forever faced charges of rigging, violence, extortion and even high treason. And yet nearly every government — civilian or military — avidly wooed it. It carried the stigma of being the creation of the security establishment, and yet received harsh treatment at the hands of its putative creators. More puzzlingly, it dominated the country’s political sphere for years on the back of its ‘eternal leader’ Altaf Hussain; even so, that very ‘quaid’ was branded a traitor and excommunicated recently by his protégés.

What brought the MQM to this sorry pass — a quirk of fate or its own misdoings? Did Altaf Hussain cause his own fall from grace or has the ‘decapitation’ been part of an old policy to dispense with popular leaders, using intrigue and violence? And what lies ahead for the MQM, Altaf Hussain and the politics in Sindh and the country?

Mustafa Kamal of the Pak Sarzameen Party (PSP) calls the MQM’s present predicament a “miracle of God”. Perhaps. But there are also plausible reasons behind the MQM’s existential crisis. In fact, the Muttahida had it long coming. A party that thrived for years on the personality cult of its unquestioned leader was bound to pay for his blunders too. Particularly noteworthy are Altaf Hussain’s five grave misjudgements that explain his present plight and the party’s current problems.
First, he misjudged the high moral ground the Rangers had occupied after restoring relative order to Karachi. No wonder the MQM’s calls for protest against the Rangers’ ‘excesses’ went unheeded.

Second, he misjudged the bargaining strength of the MQM vis-à-vis the provincial/ federal government, let alone the powerful establishment. He ignored that his MPs were no more required to form or sustain governments.

Third, he misjudged the impact of launching diatribes against the security forces at a time when the country was facing increased hostility in the neighbourhood, while his alleged connections with Indian agencies had left him with fewer friends among fellow politicians.

Fourth, Altaf Hussain misjudged the changed political culture and demography of his stronghold, Karachi, where no single ethnic group or political party could rule, let alone own, the city. And the MQM’s newly elected, though incarcerated, mayor has rightly pledged himself to act as the mayor of all communities.

Finally, and more importantly, Altaf Hussain terribly misjudged the efficacy of his command over the party that he had ‘ruled’ on the strength of a dual image nurtured over the years: one as a benign father figure for his followers; the other a ferocious dictator who brooked no dissent in the party. But the latter facet had lately begun to wear off as the MQM’s fearsome sectoral structure that projected it had crumbled under the Rangers’ weight, releasing the ‘disgruntled’ party workers from the fear factor and allowing a number of them to defect to the newly formed PSP.

The MQM supremo can, therefore, blame only himself for the apparent success of the ‘minus-Altaf’ formula. True, populism and principled politics have cost political leaders their lives and offices. It is also true that Altaf Hussain and his close associates’ loyalty has remained suspect in the past too. But they were spared the state’s wrath because either the evidence against them was insufficient or the MQM’s ‘utility’ for the political set-up, in Karachi and Islamabad, mattered.

But these two factors were missing when Mr Hussain made his Aug 22 speech against the country. His acerbic utterances and a defanged and demoralised MQM left the local leadership with no option but to commit political hara-kiri along with their ‘quaid’, or denounce him as a traitor to save the party, and their skins. They rightly chose the latter option.

But now what? Will the MQM-Pakistan — as it is now called after the Karachi and London chapters excommunicated each other — survive, let alone thrive, without the driving force and moral authority of its ‘quaid-turned-traitor’? Would the minus-Altaf formula also banish him from the constituencies where, until recently, he enjoyed considerable influence? Or will his departure further deepen the fault lines in the party and cause it to unravel, allowing several contenders — PSP, PPP, PTI, MQM-H, ANP, PML-N and JI — to fill the vacuum? It is too early to attempt any answers. But as it is, the MQM-P’s future seems not so sanguine.

Dr Farooq Sattar, the party’s new head, was trained as a deputy, not a leader. He lacks charisma and the finesse to employ ‘Mohajirism’ as a populist electoral plank, while keeping the party’s national image alive (as did Altaf Hussain). His task becomes more onerous due to the party’s image problem. Some of his associates continue to carry the party’s burdensome baggage. Cases involving heinous crimes are pending against them while the Rangers’ operations continue unabated.

Finally, the establishment’s role will also matter where the existence and future course of the MQM-P are concerned. As it is, the establishment has not relented. Altaf Hussain won’t be allowed to organise a political party through remote control in the foreseeable future, though he will try to peddle Mohajir politics through social media, further straining Pakistan’s relations with the UK.

Thus, the fate of the MQM-P or Altaf Hussain’s politics may see more vicissitudes. But what is certain for the moment is that Karachi has turned far more peaceful and manageable. It generates renewed confidence in the revival of its lost glory. It begs for measures to address its chronic socioeconomic and politico-administrative issues that have historically bred bad governance, violence and ethnic tensions.

Therefore, it anxiously awaits the activation of the long-suspended local governments to replace the bureaucracy that — in league with inept ministers — has over the years turned it into a shambles.http://www.dawn.com/news/1286266/mqms-moment-of-truth

September 29, 2016   No Comments

Ban imposed on clerics: by MUNAWER AZEEM in Dawn, September 27th, 2016

ISLAMABAD: Vigilance has been mounted around 11 local clerics after a ban was imposed on them by the capital administration to avoid sectarian tension in the city.

Besides, the entry of 16 ulema into the capital city has been banned.

A notification issued from the office of the district magistrate, Mushtaq Ahmed, stated: “Your utterances are likely to ignite the tension already existing between various religious sects of the district which may result in loss to public life and property and may also create law and order situation.”

The notification said the local ulema cannot deliver speeches at any public gathering within the limits of the district of Islamabad for two months. Four of the clerics belong to the Deobandi school of thought, four to the Shia community and three are Barelvis.

Through another notification, the entry of 16 ulema belonging to other districts was banned in the capital for two months. The firebrand speakers were likely to indulge in sectarian activities, deliver provocative speeches and sermons aiming at creating hatred between different sects.

“In the current security environment coupled with threat perception of terrorism, it is apprehended that any breakdown of law and order due to sectarian violence may be used by terrorists as an opportunity to achieve their objectives,” the notification added. Seven of the ulema were from the Deobandi school of thought, five Shias and four Barelvis. http://www.dawn.com/news/1286363/ban-imposed-on-clerics

September 29, 2016   No Comments

Bangla Bhai’s deputy Khamaru arrested again Report on Dhaka Tribune, Sept 26, 2016

Executed JMB leader Bangla Bhai’s second-in-command Mahtab Khamaru, who was blessed by top BNP leader Tarique Rahman a decade ago, have been arrested again, for the fourth time since 2005
Khamaru was arrested from Hamirkutsa area of Baghmara Upazila around 11:30am Monday allegedly for regrouping the organisation. He hails from Talghoria village of Hamirkutsa Union.
He was shown arrested in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and produced before a district court, Baghmara OC Selim Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune’s Abdullah Al Dulal. “The court has sent him to jail. We will seek his remand later.”
Khamaru is accused in several cases filed with Baghmara police for murder, torture, abduction and extortion in the area in 2004.
From March 31 to May 24 that year, Shayakh Abdur Rahman’s JMB and its associate organisation Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) – under the leadership of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai – carried out series of attacks on members of the Awami League and outlawed leftist groups with the blessings of the then BNP-Jamaat government. At least 24 people were killed and several hundreds injured in the attacks conducted in broad daylight.
Acting as a regional commander of the JMB, Khamaru even took part in an armed procession of the outfit in Rajshahi town in 2004.
“Police are investigating one of those cases while the others are under trial,” the OC said.
After the two outfits were banned on February 23, 2005, RAB arrested Khamaru on November 27. But he was released soon after then prime minister Khaleda Zia’s son Tarique phoned state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar for his release, according to a US embassy cable released by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Tarique was acting at the behest of then state minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, the cable says. Several other ministers and local lawmakers supported Bangla Bhai at that time.
JMB leader Khamaru was later arrested twice – on March 9, 2007 and July 23, 2012, but managed to come out of jail on bail. In 2012, he was shown arrested in a case filed for abduction and torture of one Amir Ali of Baghmara in 2004. He went into hiding after getting bail.
But earlier this year, Khamaru became a chairman candidate in Hamirkutsa Union Parishad election from HM Ershad’s Jatiya Party. But the polls were suspended after media reports suggested that several JMB operatives were contesting in the UP election; one of them from the ruling Awami League.
“Khamaru was trying to regroup the outfit from hideouts,” SI Mirza Mazharul Islam of Jugipara police investigation centre under Baghmara said after his arrest on Monday.
Last year, law enforcers arrested Bangla Bhai’s adviser Prof Lutfar Rahman Pramanik, a madrasa teacher in Baghmara. Facing at least 10 criminal cases, Lutfar was earlier arrested on December 26, 2005 and September 20, 2012. www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/2016/09/26/bangla-bhais-deputy-khamaru-arrested/

September 28, 2016   No Comments