Arms brought for Ulfa
A prosecution witness in the sensational 10-truck arms haul cases yesterday told a court here that the arms cache was brought for the Indian separatist organisation United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA).
Making his second deposition before the Chittagong Metropolitan Special Tribunal-1 in the cases, former habildar of Bandar police outpost Golam Rasul said ex-NSI official Maj (retd) Liakat Hossain and “smuggler” Hafizur Rhaman had informed him about the matter.
The law enforcers had detained five suspected Ulfa activists in this connection, but later released them following an order by the then state minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar, said court sources quoting the witness.
Rasul said while on duty at the outpost on April 1, 2004, he received a phone call around 10:45pm. The caller told him that some illegal goods were being unloaded at the jetty of Chittagong Urea Fertiliser Limited (CUFL).
“When I asked the caller about his identity, he cut off the phone line. I informed sergeant Alauddin about the matter, and we two left for the jetty. After reaching there, we saw many people, two trawlers loaded with boxes, about eight trucks and a crane. The boxes were being unloaded by the crane.”
Asked about the unloaded boxes, the workers said there were machinery parts inside them.
Rasul and Alauddin looked for the owner of the goods, but to no avail.
At one stage, five to seven persons came forward. Two of them introduced themselves as Hafiz and Ulfa leader Abul Hossain.
Abul asked the cops why they had gone there and what they wanted.
As sergeant Alauddin wanted to see the shipment documents and goods, Hafiz said they had no document and the goods were arms and ammunition.
Alauddin informed CMP deputy commissioner Abdullah Hel Baki of the situation over the phone.
“Hafiz and Abul Hossain threatened us, saying we might be fired as all the government organisations concerned had been informed about the unloading of the arms cache,” Rasul told the court.
When Hafiz and Abul were taken to Ahadur Rahman, the then OC of Karnaphuli Police Station, the duo admitted that the goods were arms brought for Ulfa and the government high officials knew about it.
“Later I came to know that Abul Hossain was actually the NSI official, Maj Liakat Ali,” mentioned the witness.
Rasul said he saw Din Mohammad, Mariam alias Badni member, Jasim and trawler owner Haji Sobhan at the jetty.
On April 2, 2004, around 1,500 wooden boxes containing submachine guns, AK-47 assault rifles, submachine carbines, Chinese pistols, rocket shells and launchers, hand grenades and bullets were seized from two vessels at the jetty of CUFL.
Two cases were filed the next day with Karnaphuli Police Station under the Special Powers Act and arms act for smuggling and seizure of arms.
Trial in the cases got underway on November 29 last year.