Tuesday, August 3, 2021

Hardline Islamist Hefazt-e-Islam leader arrested in Bangladesh

Mamunul Haq, the Joint Secretary General of the hardline Islamist organisation of Bangladesh Hefazat-e-Islam was arrested on charges of attemt to murder, assault and vandalism realting to a case filed last year. Mamunul Haq was arrested at the Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa in the Mohammadpur area of the capital.

Mamunul is also an accused in several other cases including the violent demonstrations on March 26 in Dhaka. 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.

Hefazat-e-Islam has been accused of large scale violence in several parts of Bangladesh including Brahmanbaria during the protests against the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh last month.

A Dhaka court sent Mamunul Haq on seven day remand after the police produced him before the court on Monday.

The police has tightened its screws on the leaders of the Hefazat-e-Islam after large scale violence in Brahmanbaria, Chattogram and other cities of Bangladesh last month. The law enforcement agencies have revived the cases against the Hefazat leaders relating to the 2013 case at Shapla Chattar in Dhaka where violence took place allegedly prompted by the leaders of the Hefazat-e-Islam.

The Chief of the Hefazat-e-Islam Junayed Babunagari in a video message demanded unconditional release of all the religious leaders of the organisation including Mamunul Haque and the party’s Organising Secretary Azizul Haque Islamabadi.

Established in 2010, the Hefazat-e-Islam controls the largest number of madrasas running into thousands in Bangladesh. It came into prominence for its hardline Islamist demands during the 2013 Shahbagh protest movement in Dhaka. In its 13 point charter of demand in 2013, Hefazat-e-Islam had demanded anti blasphemy law with death penalty, ban on erecting sculptures, declaring Ahmadiyas as non-Muslims, restrictions on social gathering between men and women among others.

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