In a latest development, new Ameer of Jamaat-e Islami Bangladesh Maqbul Ahmed has recalled freedom fighters and leaders of independence during his oath taking as the party chief.
This took place at a time when the party is in grave situation surviving, with most of its top leaders executed for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971, and different organisations demanding ban on the party.
During his oath taking on Monday, the new Jamaat ameer also recalled contributions of the top Jamaat leaders and activists who have been arrested on “false and baseless allegations”.
According to a party press release, Jamaat’s Election Commissioner ATM Masum read out the oath to Maqbul in front of its executive committee.
Maqbul Ahmed had been the acting ameer of the party since its executed ameer Matiur Rahman Nizami was arrested on June 29, 2010.
According to party sources, Maqbul is the first party ameer having no allegations of war crimes against him.
Liberation war leaders recalled
While taking his oath, new Jamaat ameer recalled the architects of Bangladesh's independence Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, late president Ziaur Rahman, leader Maulana Abdul Hamid Khan Bhashani, and Gen Ataul Gani Osmani and other leaders of the Liberation War for their contributions during the war.
Expressing sympathy for families of arrested and injured Jamaat men, he demanded immediate release of the activists who had been ‘abducted’ at different times.
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Talking about the country’s current situation and problems, he urged everyone to come together to solve the crisis.
“A single party or government cannot resolve the crisis alone,” he said.
He also called upon the government to take necessary initiative to resolve the crisis by consulting every party irrespective of their ideologies and backgrounds.
“For this, there is no alternative to a successful national dialogue, there is a need for the participation of all the parties and people,” he said. However, he stressed on ensuring proper environment for the dialogue.
Accusations mount against the new chief
Within hours of assuming office, Maqbul has been accused of war crimes committed in 1971. Feni district freedom fighter’s commander Mir Abdul Hannan said that Maqbul Ahmed was the local razakar commander during the Liberation War.
He accused Maqbul of ordering the execution of Maulana Waz Uddin, a freedom fighter and student union leader, by the al-Badr.
Further charges of war crimes have been alleged by Dagonbhuiyan upazila freedom fighter’s commander Shariat Ullah Bangali. The Bangla Tribune reported him saying that Maqbul had ordered the torching of Hindu settlements in Lalpur village in Joylaskar union of the area that resulted in the deaths of ten people.
Jamaat members and leaders declined to talk about Maqbul’s role during the Liberation War when asked. Maqbul had been running the operations of Jamaat-e-Islami in hiding for the past six years while the brass were imprisoned and sentenced.
Members of Jamaat’s central committee expressed their outrage at the sudden outburst of accusations, claiming that these are baseless and did not exist before today.
Since 2013, five top Jamaat leaders have been executed on war crimes charges. They are Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mojaheed, Abdul Quader Molla, Mohammad Kamaruzzaman, Motiur Rahman Nizami, and Mir Quasem Ali. Party’s former ameer Ghulaam Azam died while serving his time for committing crimes against humanity during the Liberation War in 1971.