JMB operatives are now trying to boost its organisational activities in Teknaf with the help of some Rohingyas, Rapid Action Battalion has claimed.
Rab-7 came up with the information after claiming to have arrested two members of the banned militant outfit -- one of them a Rohingya youth -- from Patiya upazila of Chattogram early yesterday.
Officials of the elite force said the arrestees were heading to Cox’s Bazar. Rab members also seized organisational leaflets and books on jihad from their possession.
The arrestees are Md Abdullah Al Sayeed, 35, of Rajshahi and Md Ismail, 33, said Rab sources. Ismail, who is a Rohingya, is a resident of Noapara Camp (camp-1) in Teknaf.
Assistant Superintendent of Police Mashkur Rahman of Rab-7, who conducted the drive, told The Daily Star, “Ismail is a Rohingya. He and Sayeed were planning to distribute the leaflets and books among people in Cox’s Bazar, but Rab foiled their attempt.”
“On information, Rab members set up a check post on Chattogram-Cox’s Bazar Highway on Wednesday night. They were also inspecting traffic in Shantirhat area,” he added.
The Rab official said after sensing their presence, Sayeed and Ismail got off a bus and started walking. Suspicious, officials detained them and found the materials in their bags.
ASP Mashkur said Sayeed has been travelling to Teknaf for the last two years with an aim to instigate locals to take part in anti-state activities.
“Ismail came to Bangladesh during the Rohingya influx in 2017. He used to work as an auto-rickshaw driver in Teknaf. Sayeed got introduced to him while travelling on the vehicle around that time,” the ASP said.
Ismail eventually joined the outfit through him, said the official. “During primary interrogation, Sayeed said he went to Teknaf at least three times for organisational activities,” he said, adding that considering their methods of operation, it seemed that they belonged to “Neo JMB”.
Contacted, Lt Col Moshiour Rahaman Jewel, commanding officer of Rab-7, said, “The duo informed that they were heading to Cox’s Bazar to instigate local youths as well as recruit new members.”
“We are looking into it,” he added.
Borhan Uddin, officer-in-charge of Patiya Police Station, said Rab officials handed over the two to police yesterday noon. Dulal Hossain, deputy assistant director of Rab-7, filed a case with the police station in this regard, he added.
During interrogation, Ismail introduced himself as a Rohingya, he also said. The duo was produced before a Chattogram court in the afternoon, which sent them to jail, said the OC.