Bangladesh arrests 4 suspected Jamaat members

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Dhaka
  • Updated: May 13, 2016 01:30 IST
Bangladeshi policemen stand guard at the entrance to the National Mosque during a nationwide day-long strike called by Bangladesh's largest Islamist political party, Jamaat-e-Islami, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, on Thursday. (AP)

Security officials in Bangladesh’s capital have arrested four suspected members of the banned Jamaat-ul-Mujahedeen Bangladesh (JMB), an official said on Thursday.

Mufti Mahmud Khan, a spokesman for the Rapid Action Battalion, said they had arrested Abdul Baten, head of JMB’s Dhaka district unit, and his associate Monir Mollah from a bus station in Khilgaon area of the city.

Based on information from them, security officials raided a railway station and arrested two others - Golam Kibria and Mollah Roman - who were travelling to Dhaka from the northeastern city of Chittagong, Khan said.

“They came to Dhaka to commit sabotage. We arrested them as soon as they reached the Kamlapur railway station,” he told a news briefing. The arrested men were produced before journalists.

Authorities in Bangladesh recently blamed the JMB for several attacks on minorities.

Khan said security agencies had arrested more than 600 cadres of the group in recent years and broken its network but its members are still out to regroup to commit sabotage.

The group was founded in 1998 but it came to prominence in 2001, when it started acting against a communist group in northern Bangladesh.

The group carried out near simultaneous attacks across the country with about 500 home-made bombs on August 17, 2005, demanding the introduction of Shariah or Islamic law.

It created a major network of supporters with thousands of activists or sympathisers. Authorities then launched a major crackdown on the group and six of its leaders, including its founder Shaikh Abdur Rahman, were arrested. The six were executed in 2007 after being convicted of the murders of two judges.

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