Police in Chattogram yesterday claimed that banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir is now recruiting members of Bangladesh National Cadet Corps (BNCC) through conducting secret campaigns at different educational institutions of the port city.
Changing their recruiting technique, the outfit’s leaders are now collecting operatives in guise of teaching profession to avoid suspicion of guardians and law enforcing agencies, said investigators.
Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) yesterday came up with the information after arresting 15 suspected leaders and activists of the banned militant outfit, including its supposed port city unit chief and second-in-command, in possession of a huge amount of organisational leaflets, press releases, organisational constitution, training manual, two laptops and a motorbike on Friday night.
Several teams of CMP’s South division led by Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Shah Md Abdur Rauf conducted the drives and arrested the 15 from the city’s Andarkillah, Chandgaon, Bayezid and Panchlaish areas.
“Hizb-ut Tahrir’s main targets are students of educational institutions who are the members of BNCC, as BNCC men have training in both technical and operational side,” said Ameena Begum, additional commissioner (crime and operation) of CMP, while addressing a press conference.
“Among the arrestees, three are teachers by profession. Leaders of the organisation used to hold meetings in different locations with the fresh recruits in the name of coaching or tuition,” she added.
The arrestee are: Abul Mohammed Arshadul Alam (39), Abdullah Al Mahfuz (30), Md Imtiaj Ismail (25), Md Nashir Uddin Chowdhury (22), Md Nazmul Huda (27), Md Lokman Goni (29), Md Karim (27), Md Abdullah Al Munim (22), Md Kamrul Hasan Rana (20), Md Ariful Islam (20), Md Azim Uddin (31), Md Farhan Bin Rafi (23), Azimul Huda (24), Md Smrat (22) and a 15-year old HSC student.
Arshadul is the Bangla teacher of Cantonment English School and College Chattogram and also the chief of Hizb-ut-Tahrir port city unit while Abdullah AL Mahfuz is the territory manager of Novartis pharmaceuticals of Chattogram and second-in-command of the organisation, Ameena said.
Nazmul graduated as a civil engineer from Daffodil Institution while Ariful Islam and Kamrul Hasan are students of Chattogram Government Model College. Arif and Kamrul were also BNCC members of the college unit, said police officials.
The 15-year-old boy is a second-year student of Ispahani Public School and College.
During the drive, Afzal Hossain Atik alias Akash, 35, a supposed top central leader of the militant outfit and a part-time teacher of BN School Chattogram, and Md Tahmid Sufiyan, 35, director of Chattogram Digital School, managed to flee.
“The militant outfit is active and it has two teachers who used to instigate students in guise of private tuition, keeping guardians in the dark,” added Ameena.
The police officials said, “We request guardians to keep eyes on their children about their private tuition and also their teachers.”
COURT GRANTS REMAND
A court in Chattogram granted remand for the arrestees. The court of Metropolitan Magistrate Abu Salem Noman placed Arshadul on five-day remand, while the court also granted three-day remand for the other operatives after police produced the arrestees before the court in a case filed with Kotwali Police Station, said ADC (Prosecution) Kamruzzaman.