Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief Junayed Babunagari on Sunday said that the recent controversies surrounding its joint secretary general Mamunul Haque after he had been confined with a woman in a resort in Nayaraganj was his personnel issue.
Mamunul claimed that the woman, Jannat Ara Jharna, was his second wife.
Asked about the speculation that Mamunul would be fired from the organisation, the Hefazat chief after a meeting told reporters that they had not discussed issues of any individual and had not decided any dismissal or discharge of anyone.
Mamunul was not present in the meeting.
Paltan police station officer-in-charge Abu Bakar Siddique said that Abdur Rahman, son of Jannat Ara Jharna, filed a general diary with the police station Saturday night, stating that he could not reach out to his mother for the last few days.
Abu Bakar said that Abdur Rahman also deposited three diaries of his mother to the police considering that these might be seized from him.
After an emergency meeting held at Al Jameatul Ahlia Darul Uloom Moinul Islam-Hathazari Madrasa in Chattogram, Hefazat chief Junayed blamed the police and ruling party activists for the clashes on March 26, claiming that they had no scheduled street programmes against the visit of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh in March 26-27.
He said that people staged peaceful demonstrations on March 26 but the police, aided by ruling party activists carried out attacks, and the four protesters who were killed in Hathazari were shot at their head, chest and abdomen.
‘Why did the police use bullet on the protesters’ head and chest? They could have fired on the leg in case of any serious situation,’ said Junayed.
Hefazat chief claimed that ruling party activists attacked devotees at Baitul Mukarram mosque and Jamia Islamia Yunusia Madrassa in Brahmanbaria.
He requested authorities not to harass Hefazat supporters anymore and let bygones be bygones, saying that 20 to 21 people embraced ‘martyrdom’.
‘Those who have been arrested should be released and their cases should be withdrawn,’ said Junayed.
He alleged that the police and the Rapid Action Battalion were continuously raiding madrassahs and inquiring about their sources of income.
He said that the government should not impose any kind of restriction on prayers during Ramadan, likely to begin on April 14.
He warned against closing madrassahs, including qawmi madrassahs, in the name of ‘lockdown’.
The Hefazat chief said that Ramadan was one of the sources of income for community madrassahs and due to restrictions, these would be shut down.
The meeting, chaired by Hefazat chief adviser Mohibullah Babunagari, was held amid the recent arrests and cases filed against their leadership and supporters in different parts of the country.
Hefazat would hold a ‘grand rally’ at Hathazari on May 29, said Junayed.
The police headquarters has yet to disclose the number of cases filed and arrests made so far after the protests and violence in March 26-28 which left at least 17 people killed, mostly in the firing of the police and the Border Guard Bangladesh in the clashes during and after Modi’s visit.
According to New Age correspondents and the police in different districts, at least 70 cases have been filed against 50,000 protesters in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Brahmanbaria, Sylhet, Chattogram, Kishoreganj, Feni and other places under the anti-terrorism act, and other charges.
Almost all of the senior Hefazat leaders except its chief, Junayed Babunagari, have been prosecuted, said party leaders.
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