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Jamaat reels under leadership crisis

11 October 2017, 1:30:00

The recent arrest of several top leaders of the Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, including party ameer Maulana Maqbul Ahmed and secretary general Dr Shaifiqur Rahman, has plunged the party into a serious leadership crisis ahead of the next general election. Earlier on September 29, nine more Jamaat leaders, including four central leaders, were arrested.

The arrest of Jamaat leaders at different levels have been going on for the past seven years after the government took a hardline stance against the party, which has been accused of committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War.

Former Jamaat stalwarts, including then ameer Motiur Rahman Nizami and secretary general Ali Ahsan Mohammed Mojaheed, were arrested seven years ago during the last tenure of the Awami League (AL)-led government.

Of them, five top leaders—Nizami, Mojaheed, Muhammed Quamaruzzaman, Abdul Quader Mollah and Mir Kashem Ali—have been executed for war crimes.

Besides, Jamaat nayeb-e-ameer Delwar Hossain Sayedee was awarded life imprisonment for crimes committed against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971. The cases of war crimes against two other senior Jamaat leaders, ATM Azharul Islam and Maulana Abdus Sobhan, are at the appeal stage.

But the arrest of almost all the top Jamaat leaders within the past 10 days has made the party rank and file apprehensive of a fresh government crackdown. The development has also triggered a new leadership crisis.

A senior leader told The Independent, on condition of anonymity, that the present nayeb-e-ameer, Prof. Mojibur Rahman, is likely to become the acting ameer of Jamaat. The party is also considering three prospective names to be the acting secretary general of the proscribed outfit.

He said Jamaat has appointed Rafiuddin Ahmed to nominate the next leadership after watching the government’s attitude towards the arrested leaders.

Almost all the arrested leaders have been already charged in a number of cases and they may not be released very soon, he apprehended.

The Jamaat leader said the party ameer is holding a meeting with other leaders on the latest developments in the political arena, including the Rohingya issue and their participation in the next polls.

On Monday evening, law enforcement agencies had arrested nine Jamaat leaders, including ameer Maqbul Ahmad, nayeb-e-ameer Mia Ghulam Parwar, secretary general Dr Shafiqur

Rahman and Chittagong Metropolitan ameer Mawlana Shahjahan, from a house at Uttara in Dhaka. Police have accused them of plotting to “create political anarchy in the country”.

Meanwhile, a Dhaka court yesterday placed Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami Ameer Maqbul Ahmad, its Secretary General Shafiqur Rahman and six other top leaders on a ten-day remand each in two cases filed with Kadamtali Police Station.

Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court Judge Golam Nabi passed the order after investigation officer of the cases SI Saju Mia (Operation) of Kadamtali Police Station sought a 10-day remand for each. Of the two cases, one was filed under the Special Powers Act while the other under the Arms Act.

Protesting the arrests and the subsequent remand, Jamaat yesterday called for a countrywide protest for Wednesday (today). The party will also enforce a nationwide strike on Thursday (tomorrow).

In a latest development, Jamaat appointed Mujibur Rahman, party nayebe ameer and a former lawmaker, as its acting ameer and party assistanmt secretary general Mawlana ATM Masum its acting secretary general.

Earlier on Monday, detectives arrested eight Jamaat leaders including Maqbul Ahmad from the capital’s Uttara area.

Source: The independent

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