A police official pulls a sign off the door at the Hizb ut-Tahrir 's Purana Paltan office yesterday. Law enforcers busted the Dhaka central office and Sylhet divisional office of the recently banned organisation. Photo: SK Enamul Haq
Police yesterday raided the Dhaka central office and Sylhet divisional office of recently banned Islamist organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh, and seized its publications, and various other documents and properties.
The same day Bangladesh Bank (BB) issued an order to all banks across the country to freeze all accounts of the banned outfit.
The central bank gave the instruction according to the Anti-terrorism Act 2009 which empowers the authorities to freeze bank accounts of any banned outfit.
The Dhaka University syndicate decided to send Mohiuddin Ahmed, associate professor of Institute of Business Administration and chief coordinator of Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh, on forced leave indefinitely for his involvement with the banned outfit.
Meanwhile, police kept Mohiuddin confined to his residence on Green Road in the capital throughout the day.
"We'll arrest him if the authorities instruct us to do so," said a Detective Branch official, wishing anonymity.
A large contingent of Motijheel police raided the head office of the banned outfit on the forth floor of Siddique Mansion at Purana Paltan around 12 noon and seized several computers, several hundred CDs, a large number of books, leaflets, posters, and various other materials.
The raid came after a Dhaka court permitted it along with seizure of publications and properties of Hizb ut-Tahrir which the government had banned on October 22 saying the group is a threat to public security. After the four-hour drive police shut down the office.
Motijheel Zone Deputy Commissioner Khandaker Mahid Uddin who led the drive said the seized materials will help law enforcers in their investigation.
"We have seized these properties and documents on information that the banned outfit was planning to carry out subversive acts, and its leaders are some of the masterminds of anti-state activities," DC Mahid Uddin said.
Police said the organisation has at least 24 publications and innumerable leaflets and posters, and that they collected books and documents about jihad.
Since the banning, police had kept the central office cordoned off disallowing anyone to enter.
Officer-in-charge of Paltan Police Majibur Rahman said, "The materials were seized after we broke the lock of the office which had been under our observation."
Earlier in the morning, Sub-inspector Shahjahan of Paltan Police filed a petition with a Dhaka court seeking permission to raid the office and to seize materials from it.
DU SYNDICATE MEETING
DU Vice Chancellor Prof Arefin Siddique said Mohiuddin will be on forced leave until the university syndicate makes any further decision.
However, the syndicate at the emergency meeting did not decide the fate of Prof Golam Mowla, a teacher of management department and also member of Hizb ut-Tahrir central committee.
"We have discussed the overall situation regarding Mohiuddin's involvement with Hizb ut-Tahrir. We have sent Mohiuddin on forced leave to prevent him from causing any harm to the congenial atmosphere at the university,” Arefin Siddique said.
RAID ON SYLHET HIZBUT OFFICE
Our staff correspondent reported from Sylhet that Kotwali police there seized over 500 books and leaflets of the organisation, raiding its Sylhet divisional office in Ambarkhana area.
Police broke the lock there as well to enter the office, and seized books and other materials, and then shut the office down.
The office was located on the ground floor of a multi-storied building, which also houses a private hospital.
Regional chapter operatives of the outfit removed its signboard and went into hiding following the banning of the organisation, local residents said.
Police said a board containing a list of the outfit's organisational activities, about 500 jihadi books, a carpet, and leaflets including some on the recent BDR mutiny were seized from the office.
The office used to remain locked almost always, except during meetings or other events in there, said some of the local residents.
Hizb ut-Tahrir is an international Islamist organisation founded in Jerusalem in 1953. It started its activities in Bangladesh in 2000. It is a pan-Islamist group, the goal of which is to establish a global Islamic caliphate. It has been banned in a number of other countries as well, mainly in Central Asia and the Middle East.