3 'JMB men' surrender to home boss
With a promise to return to normal life, three alleged operatives of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) surrendered to the home minister in Rangpur yesterday.
Hafiz Masud Rana, 18, Hafizur Rahman, 16, and Akhtarul alias Akteruzzaman, 18, all madrasa students from Dinajpur's Ghoraghat upazila, surrendered at an anti-militancy rally organised by Rab-13 in the city's Chital Auditorium.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan handed over a cheque for Tk 5 lakh to each of the three for their rehabilitation.
Asked whether the surrendered militants would be under custody, Director Mufti Mahmud Khan of the Rab's Legal and Media Wing said they will not be held in custody.
“While under a de-radicalisation programme, the trio will be monitored as they might be at risk of attacks from militants for shunning the path of militancy,” he told The Daily Star.
He said the Rapid Action Battalion will take measures to ensure their security and rehabilitate them.
With the three, eight suspected militants have so far surrendered to the home minister.
Earlier on October 5, alleged JMB members Abdul Hakim, 22, and Mahadul Hasan alias Bijoy, 17, surrendered at an anti-militancy gathering in Bogra.
On August 11, three suspected members of outlawed militant group Hizb-ut Tahrir surrendered to police in Jessore. They are Saddam Yasir alias Sajal, 32, Raihan Ahmed, 20, and Mehedi Hasan, 20.
At the programme yesterday, the three suspected militants said they felt guilty for joining the JMB.
According to a Rab press release, JMB trio Masud, Hafizur and Akteruzzaman were brainwashed and radicalised by a network which also radicalised Shafiul, one of the July 7 Sholakia attackers.
It said Shafiul, who was captured during the attack and later killed in an “encounter” with the Rab, studied up to class VIII at Noorpur Salafia Cadet Madrasa which was also attended by the three militants.
Madrasa peon Ariful, now in jail in a murder case, as a local JMB recruiter first motivated and radicalised Shafiul and later Masud, Hafizur and Akteruzzaman. After giving them physical training, he used to send the newly recruited JMB members to other areas, the release stated.
Ariful later took Masud, a class IX student of Rameswer Darul Huda Fazil Madrasa; Hafizur, a tenth grader at Kalabari Dakhil Madrasa; and Akteruzzaman, a class IX student of Narayanpur Misbahul Ulum Qawmi and Hafizia Madrasa, to a mess at Gurhati of Ghoraghat upazila.
Ariful trained them in making crude bombs at the mess and they also made several bombs, the Rab said.
The three militants were assigned to carry out subversive activities, but they went into hiding and later changed their mind to surrender to law enforcers as militant activities came under widespread criticism after the Gulshan and Sholakia attacks.
The three then talked to their family members who inspired them to surrender and took the militants to the Rab, said the press release.
Chaired by Rab-13 Commanding Officer ATM Atiqullah, yesterday's anti-militancy rally was also attended by State Minister for LGRD Moshiur Rahman Ranga, local lawmaker Tipu Munshi, Rab Director General Benazir Ahmed and Rangpur Mayor Sharfuddin Ahmed.
Our Dinajpur correspondent contributed to this report.