1242Published on October 6, 2022
Immediately after forming the government in 2001, the BNP-Jamaat men started massacring the Awami League leaders and activists, including killing, torturing, extorting, looting and raping their women. They even hired militant outfits to carry out killing missions across the country.
Khaleda Zia’s government used to communicate with the militants through eight BNP leaders under the direct guidance of Tarique Rahman. Even many members of the police force were forced to collaborate with the militants due to political pressure from some Ministers.
Leaders in the BNP government used to send money safely to militants through police personnel. Even if the police had to release arrested JMB militants sometimes due to pressure from the government, special orders would come from the higher levels of the government and Tarique’s political office ‘Hawa Bhaban’ to grant them bail from the court.
These documents were leaked after the military-backed caretaker government came to power on January 11, 2007. Bangla daily Prothom Alo published a report on this issue along with evidence and documents on January 30, 2001.
Since the BNP-Jamaat alliance came to power in 2001, Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) militants tortured and killed ordinary people, progressives, teachers, intellectuals, women activists, lawyers and Awami League supporters across the country. But they came to the spotlight internationally after they carried out a series of bomb attacks on August 17, 2005. Later, various law enforcement agencies launched secret investigations into the sources of JMB's rise and funds. The investigation found the names of BNP ministers and MPs as the sponsors of JMB.
According to the investigation by the law enforcement agencies, influential BNP leader of Natore and former Deputy Minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu and Rajshahi city mayor and top BNP leader Mizanur Rahman Minu had a mobile conversation with JMB leader Siddique ul-Islam alias Bangla Bhai after the August 17 bomb attack. The BNP leaders, as per the instructions of the BNP high-ups, ordered Bangla Bhai to go into hiding. Even in April 2004, Shaykh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai along with 150 militants, in a truck openly, went to meet Dulu at his Natore residence. Satisfied with their activities, Dulu gave them a bundle of money, Bangla Bhai said.
Later, during interrogation by RAB, police and detectives, Bangla Bhai said that MP Abu Hena used to maintain regular contact with JMB through his nephew. Bangla Bhai sought Mizanur Rahman Minu's help to continue the militant activities. Minu, then, gave a donation of Tk 50,000 through one of his close aides. Even BNP’s Member of Parliament Nadim Mostafa sent a donation of Tk 30,000 to Bangla Bhai through Puthia police station OC Anisur Rahman. The OC himself went to the Goalkandi police outpost and handed over the money to Bangla Bhai in presence of Circle ASP Alamgir Kabir.
After his arrest, Shaykh Abdur Rahman told the law enforcement forces that during the operation in Baghmara, he contacted the then Minister of Telecommunications, Barrister Aminul Haque. He instructed BNP leaders to help JMB operatives. Admitting the matter, the local BNP leaders said, “No one had the audacity to reject Aminul Haque's words. If they do, their political career would end immediately.”
Bangla Bhai even said that the then state minister of Naogaon Alamgir Kabir used to talk regularly and was invited to his house. In addition, Naogaon MP Shamsul Alam Pramanik and influential BNP leader Dr Salek Choudhury used to have regular contact with Bangla Bhai and Shaykh Rahman, according to their confession. They said that the BNP leaders gave so much money to JMB men for various attacks in the greater Rajshahi region that Tk 7 lakhs remained unused even after completing their operation.
Bangla Bhai went to Mymensingh following the nationwide bombings on August 17. He then admitted to having regular phone conversations with BNP Deputy Minister Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, State Minister Alamgir Kabir, MP Nadim Mostafa, Samsul Alam Pramanik, Dr Salek Choudhury and Rajshahi City Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu. Bangla Bhai requested them to save him and his family. Upon his request, BNP leaders spoke to the upper levels of the government to ensure security and advise him to remain in hiding until the situation got normal. Bangla Bhai then went into hiding and stopped contact with everyone.
Shaykh Abdur Rahman said that he met Mosaddek Billah, the son of Charmonai Pir after the sabotage in Bagmara. Mosaddek took him to Pir who also expressed his support for their activities.
Shaykh admitted that the JMB had attacked Humayun Azad in 2004 to kill him. They even killed Professor Mohammad Yunus of Rajshahi University. However, the operation to kill Fazle Hossain Badsha failed. Shaykh Rahman admitted to committing such brutal crimes as slaughtering and burying the bodies of many people with his own hands.
Shaykh also said that the SPs of Naogaon, Natore and Rajshahi had supported all the activities of JMB on the government's orders. But, the SP denied the claim and pledged not involved in it, but OCs of some police stations might be involved in these incidents.
This is how BNP turned Bangladesh as a breeding place for JMB and other militant outfits.