Dhaka: Mamunul Haque, an influential leader of hardcore Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam in Bangladesh, along with other leaders, has confessed to wanting to turn Bangladesh into a Taliban state like Afghanistan if they came to power.
Haque was arrested by Dhaka police last week on the charges of instigating violence, attempt to murder, assault and vandalism. Along with other influential leaders from across the country, Haque had formed an organization called ‘Rabetatul Waizin Bangladesh’, to dethrone the government in power and establish a Taliban state, said a top detective official.
Funded by Islamic forces, radical Islamist outfits like Hefazat-e-Islam and Jamaat-e-Islami, this group used to control ‘Waz Mahfils’, events organized to propagate militancy in the name of preaching Islam. They also forced organizers from Pakistan to invite their militant leaders as speakers.
Most arrested leaders confessed that they used madrasa students as shields to vandalize and set the government properties on fire, as they saw Hefazat-e-Islam as the only effective platform to topple the Awami League from power in Bangladesh.
Arrests and investigations
Along with Mamunul, 14 other top-ranked Hefazat-e-Islam leaders and several leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan and BNP have been arrested since April 4 in connection with at least 65 cases filed for violence carried out by the Hefazat-e-Islam supporters in 2013 and in March this year. Three teams have been formed involving investigating officers who have knowledge of Quran and Hadith, to interrogate the arrested leaders.
Conspiracies were hatched in 2013 and again this year in March by these radical Islamist organizations to oust the government led by Sheikh Hasina. The same was confirmed by Mahbub Alam, Joint Commissioner of the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP).
Mamunul Haque’s arrest
Mamunul Haque is said to be the instigator behind violent riots and targeted attacks on Hindus in Bangladesh after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Muslim-majority nation. More than 300 people have been arrested till now for their involvement in the cases of arson, vandalism and violence during the period 26-28 March in various towns of Bangladesh. The Chief of the Hefazat-e-Islam Junayed Babunagari in a video message has demanded unconditional release of all the religious leaders of the organization, including Mamunul Haque and the party’s Organising Secretary Azizul Haque Islamabadi.