Hefajat-e-Islam central committee dissolved
The central committee of Hefajat-e-Islam has been dissolved.
Hefajat-e-Islam Amir Junayed Babunagari broke the news in a video message just moments back.
"The committee was dissolved on the advice of some important members of the central committee," he said in the video message from Hathazari madrasa in Chattogram.
He, however, said that the organisation will run its activities in future through a convening commitee.
Meer Edris, assistant organising secretary of Hefajat-e-Islam, told The Daily Star that the decision was taken in "light of the current situation" and they will reorganise.
On November 15, 2020, Junayed Babunagari was declared Hefajat amir at the end of its council held at Darul Ulum Moinul Islam Hathazari Madrasa in Chattogram. Before this committee was announced, Junayed served Hefajat as its secretary general.
The council was held around two months after the death of Hefajat amir Ahmed Shafi, who passed away in September.
Soon after the formation of the new committee, Hefajat hogged the headlines as it strongly opposed the construction of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's sculpture in the capital and made anti-government statements.
Later, the tense situation between the government and the Hefajat over the sculpture issue eased following a meeting with two sides.
Hefajat drew fresh attention of the government when it announced opposition of the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bangladesh on March 26 -- the day country celebrated its golden jubilee of independence.
At least six people died in Hathazari in Chattogram and Brahmanbaria following clashes between Hefajat men and law enforcement agencies on March 26.
In protest of police action, Hefajat men carried out unprecedented mayhem in Brahmanbaria and launched violence activities at different other parts of the country leaving at least 11 more dead, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the parliament early this month.
Following the mayhem unleashed by Hefajat, the government recently cracked down on the organisation.
As of yesterday, a total of 19 top leaders including its Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque and around 800 Hefajat activists were arrested in different parts of the country in the crackdown.
Seventy-three cases were filed with different police stations over the three days' violence and mayhem in different districts.
Under pressure due to the ongoing crackdown on its top leaders, Hefajat-e-Islam had engaged its senior leaders to negotiate with the government.
In a bid to convince the government and gain its confidence, a Hefajat delegation met Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal at his home on April 19 and assured him that Qawmi madrasa students will not be involved in any anti-government or anti-state activities, said Hefajat sources.
The leaders in the meeting said they want to bring an end to the "misunderstanding" that has arisen between the government and the organisations centring the protest that coincided with the celebrations of golden jubilee of Bangladesh's independence.
Hefajat engaged its senior and apparently apolitical figures to negotiate with the government with an aim to stop the arrest of its leaders and to have the ones arrested released, sources said.
The government, however, put pressure on Hefajat top leaders to reorganise its committee excluding its controversial leaders who were engaged in the recent violent activities, Hefaja insiders said.
Despite the Hefajat leaders' assurances, the government decided to take legal action against Hefajat men involved in the recent mayhem that killed at least 17 people.
Upon analysing the Election Commission website it was found that at least six political parties that took part in elections on their own or under the platform of the BNP-Jamaat alliance have connections with Hefajat.
In a confessional statement before the Dhaka Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court on April 20, Hefajat's Central Assistant Finance Secretary Muhammad Ilias Hamidi said its recent violent activities were aimed at toppling the government.