1906Published on December 3, 2022
A large area of the northern region, including Rajshahi, Natore and Naogaon, became a city of terror due to the open killings and brutality of the extremist militants. Later, the caretaker government hanged the notorious militant Bangla Bhai and his associate Shaykh. But the BNP-Jamaat coalition government not only denied their killings but also used them to suppress the opposition with administrative support and money. An impartial investigation during the caretaker government found the direct patronage of the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia and her son Tarique Rahman in these atrocities.
During the caretaker government, the court said on June 26, 2007, Bagmara was the breeding ground for JMB. And there was a torture cell for Bangla Bhai in Hamirkutsa. The political influences of the coalition government gave birth to JMB in Bagmara by providing financing and sheltering them for militant activities.
The Prothom Alo on June 27 reported that Minister Aminul Haque telephoned the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia to help Bangla Bhai.
The BNP and Jamaat allies started brutal torture, extortion, and looting of Awami League leaders and activists soon after the formation of the alliance government in 2001. Later, with the direct funding and support of Tarique Rahman and the Hawa Bhaban gang, the extremist groups started killing Awami League leaders and looting and torturing ordinary people.
Siddique ul alias Bangla Bhai got close to Tarique for his Bogra and Shibir connection:
Tarique Rahman had confidence in Bangla Bhai due to his Bogra connection and directed eight BNP ministers and MPs to cooperate with him in persecuting Awami League men. During his student life, Bangla Bhai was involved in Shibir politics and ran the Shibir-controlled Retina Coaching Center in Bogra. He is the son of Nazir Hossain of Karnipara village of Mahishbahan union of Gabtali upazila of Bogra district. His real name is Siddiqul Islam.
Under the guise of an anti-proletarian drive, he unleashed terrible terror across the northern region with the direct patronage of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government. He developed a good relationship with Tarique Rahman for his brutality against Awami League leaders and activists and minority people.
Therefore, then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia denied the media report about militancy, saying 'Bangla Bhai was created by media’. Through ministers, Tarique Rahman instructed the administration not to obstruct the demonic activities of Bangla Bhai.
Even though the police gathered evidence of Jamaat-Shibir connection with JMB, it disappeared on the orders of the BNP-Jamaat high command.
Mayor Minu, MP Nadeem and Hena, and Deputy Minister Dulu patronized Bangla Bhai:
On January 30, 2007, the Prothom Alo reported that Shaykh Abdur Rahman and Bangla Bhai, with about 150 militant activists, went to Natore MP Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu's residence in a truck openly for a long meeting in April 2004. Bangla Bhai also informed that Dulu was happy with their activities and immediately gifted a bundle of money.
Moreover, after the nationwide bombings on August 17, 2005, JMB leader Siddique ul-Islam alias Bangla Bhai had a mobile phone conversation with then Deputy Minister Ruhul Quddus Talukder Dulu, Member of Parliament Nadim Mostafa and then Rajshahi City Mayor Mizanur Rahman Minu.
Later, during interrogation by the police and detectives, Bangla Bhai said that BNP MP Abu Hena maintained regular contact with JMB through his nephew.
Mizanur Rahman Minu gave a one-time gift of Tk 50,000 through an activist to continue the militant activities.
Even BNP MP Nadim Mostafa donated Tk 30,000 to Bangla Bhai through Puthia Police Station OC Anisur Rahman to continue terrorism. The OC himself went to the Goalkandi police outpost and handed over this money to Bangla Bhai in presence of Circle ASP.
Minister Aminul Haque directed the Rajshahi BNP leaders to cooperate with Bangla Bhai:
After his arrest, Shaykh Abdur Rahman told the law enforcement members that he had contact with the then Telecommunication Minister Barrister Aminul Haque during the operation in Bagmara of Rajshahi. He directed BNP leaders to help the JMB network. Local BNP leaders later admitted this incident saying, “No one had the audacity to reject Aminul Haque's words. If they do, their political career would end immediately.”
Bangla Bhai used to talk to the then-state minister of Naogaon Alamgir Kabir regularly and was invited to his house. Both Bangla Bhai and Shaykh Rahman also confessed to having regular phone conversations with Naogaon MP Shamsul Paramanik and influential BNP leader Dr Salek Chowdhury.
They said that the money they collected from BNP leaders for various attacks in the greater Rajshahi region was more than enough, they had a surplus of Tk 7 lakh even after completing the operation a long time.
During the caretaker government, district BNP general secretary Sheesh Mohammad also admitted to cooperating with JMB and Bangla Bhai on the instructions of minister Aminul.
Bangla Bhai got released after arrest due to pressure from BNP-Jamaat high command:
Ministers forced police personnel to cooperate with the militants. Even after the arrest of the militants, the law enforcement members had to release them on the orders of the high command of the BNP-Jamaat alliance government.
After one of Bangla Bhai’s associates Khamaru, a JMB leader, was arrested in 2005, Tarique Rahman arranged for his release through Minister of State for Home Lutfozzaman Babar. After the leak of a secret cable sent by Judith Chammas, the then US Charge d'Affaires in Dhaka, WikiLeaks stated that Khaleda Zia's principal secretary Kamaluddin Siddiqui had informed Judith of Tarique's direct sponsorship of militancy.
Earlier, on August 17, 2002, locals detained Bangla Bhai and handed him over to the police as he carried out assassination attempts on religious minorities, an Awami League leader and his daughter at Mollahat in Bagerhat. Bangla Bhai was in Bagerhat jail for four weeks. But he was released due to the lobbying of the influential ministers and MPs of the BNP-Jamaat coalition government.
Then on December 7, 2002, JMB exploded bombs in four cinema halls simultaneously in Mymensingh city, leaving 19 innocent people dead and hundreds injured. But instead of arresting the militants, the then BNP-Jamaat coalition government ran a crackdown on the Awami League leaders.
On August 14, 2003, when a police team raided Uttar Maheshpur village of Khetlal Upazila in Joypurhat, JMB activists attacked the police and snatched away three weapons, a wireless set and several bullets. Many leaders and activists of JMB, including Bangla Bhai, were arrested, but they were released on bail after a few months thanks to some leaders of the BNP-Jamaat government. In 2004, under the umbrella of Tarique Rahman, they started killing missions openly to eliminate Awami League leaders.
Bangla Bhai killed at least two dozen Awami leaders before the August 17 bomb attack:
On August 17, 2005, JMB shooked the nation with a series of bomb attacks across the country. But before it, the media revealed that forces of Bangla Bhai killed at least 32 and maimed hundreds of people that year.
Among them- Wasim alias Osman Babu was killed on April 1; Golam Rabbani Mukul of Kanopara in Bagmara on April 11; Awami League leader and UP member Azahar Ali of Durgapur on April 20; Mosharraf Hossain of Belgharia in Raninagar of Naogaon, Saifur of Pirgacha of Natore on April 22; and Dipankar of Kashiabari in Atrai on July 23.
Also, on April 27 UP Dafadar Dipankar Roy of Atrai Kashiabari of Naogaon, and Awami League leader and UP member Azahar Ali of Durgapur in April succumbed to injuries from torture. Retired army personnel Sheikh Farid of Bhopara of Atrai, and three unidentified persons were killed. Rabeya of Neempara, Bagmara in Rajshahi committed suicide on May 14 due to rape on the previous day.
The body of Awami League leader Abdul Qayyum Badshah of Safiqpur, Raninagar was hung on a tree on May 15, Awami League leader Khejur Ali of Simba village, Raninagar was cut into pieces on June 24, and Afzal of Baragachar in Raninagar of Bagmara was hanged on a tree on June 30. BNP-Jamaat activists also carried out brutal attempts to murder several other Awami League leaders and activists in the region.
Also, after the bomb attacks across the country on August 17, 2005, the JMB carried out suicide bomb attacks that killed two Jhalkathi judges, Sohail Ahmed and Jagannath Parey on 14 November. Humayan Azad, a teacher at Dhaka University, later lost his life after an assassination attack on him publicly. To save the attackers, the BNP-Jamaat government tried its best to divert attention by arresting Chhatra League leaders en masse.
BNP leaders who turned Rajshahi into a hotbed of militancy are still carrying out sabotage:
The BNP leaders who turned Rajshahi into a haven for JMB and Bangla Bhai are still plotting sabotage. Before the 11th National Parliament election in 2018, Nadim Mostafa called upon extremist groups to kill Awami League leaders and activists in the area.
On December 27 and 28 in 2018, BNP leader Nadim Mostafa was heard, telling the local BNP-Jamaat leaders and activists to kill the Awami League leaders and activists in the area, “If you get a chance, use it and kill them". The recording of his speech was published in the national media.
Also, BNP leaders Mizanur Rahman Minu and Abu Hena sent cadre forces to kill rivals in the area to thwart voting. Their forces vandalized the election office at Tanore in Rajshahi for capturing the polling centre during the December 30 elections. Ward Awami League General Secretary Modasser Ali was killed in their attack on Mohammadpur High School Center of Panchandar Union. BNP-Jamaat miscreants hacked Awami League activist Mirazul Islam to death in front of Pakuria High School polling station in Jahanabad Union of Mohanpur Upazila of Rajshahi.