7 parties behind Hefajat mayhem
Police yesterday claimed to have proof that seven political parties, including Jamaat-e-Islami, had backed Hefajat-e Islam, which struck terror in the capital's Motijheel area on May 5.
Jamaat and Muslim League supported the Islamist group indirectly while Nezame Islam, Khelafat Majlish, Khelafat Andolon, Jamiat e Olama e Islam and Islami Oikya Jote backed it directly, AKM Shahidul Hoque, additional inspector general of police (admin), told reporters at the police headquarters in Dhaka.
He claimed that Hefajat was in control of the leaders of the seven parties, and if the Hefajat leaders could keep a hold over their group, things would not have turned so bad that day.
Shahidul once again insisted that a total of 13 people died in clashes between Hefajat and law enforcers in Dhaka between May 5 and early hours of May 6 when the latter tried to resist Hefajat's unruly actions in the name of holding a peaceful rally.
The report of rights body Odhikar, which was published online on June 10, falsely put the death figure at 61, said the additional IGP.
He pointed out the anomalies and flaws in the Odhikar list found in the computers that police seized from the organisation's office after its Secretary Adilur Rahman Khan was arrested on August 10 for the publication of the false report.
Though the list showed 61 people as dead, actually 26 of them -- 13 in the capital and 13 outside it -- had died in clashes between law enforcers and Hefajat activists.
Terming Odhikar's report false and ill-motivated, Shahidul said police have the right to defend their position, as law enforcers had been irrationally accused of “genocide” in the early hours of May 6.
Meanwhile, the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's Court transferred to the Dhaka Cyber Tribunal the case against Odhikar Secretary Adilur and its Director ASM Nasiruddin Elan.
The CMM court said the cyber tribunal will decide whether an arrest warrant will be issued against Elan, as he was shown as a fugitive in the case.
Gulshan police filed the lawsuit under ICT Act, 2006 on August 10 in connection with the Odhikar's publication of a distorted report on police action on the May 5 Hefajat rally.
Speaking at yesterday's press conference, Shahidul said Hefajat initially wanted permission for its May 5 Dhaka programme but later came up with a new request.
“They said they will hold a peaceful doa programme presided over by Hefajat chief Allama Shafi at Motijheel's Shapla Chattar after Zohr prayers, and it will end by 2:00pm.”
But Hefajat changed the schedule thrice, he said.
“They had permission to stay at Motijheel's Shapla Chattar till 5:00pm. And their programme became illegal after that,” he said.
Asked whether police would take action against Odhikar as an organisation for publishing a distorted report and photoshopped images, he said, “It is up to the NGO Affairs Bureau to decide.”
He said they didn't arrest Shafi for Hefajat's rampage as he was not present in the May 5 rally.