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No headway made in Hefazat mayhem probe

  • Published at 06:32 pm May 4th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:51 am May 5th, 2017
No headway made in Hefazat mayhem probe
Four years after radical Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam wreaked mayhem in Dhaka and elsewhere, there has still been no visible headway made in cases filed over the incidents. According to police sources, a total of 83 cases were filed with different police stations across the country, accusing Hefazat members of launching attacks on law enforcers and journalists, damaging public properties, and burning the holy Qur’an during their demonstrations in May 2013. Among the cases, 53 were filed in Dhaka including seven for murders. Law enforcers have so far submitted charge sheets in only four cases, filed with Ramna, Sher-e-Bangla Nagar and Kalabagan police stations. Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit chief Monirul Islam on Tuesday told a press conference they had been able to identify those who masterminded the rampage, but were yet to identify the foot soldiers. Following the incident, police arrested 376 people including Hefazat General Secretary Junaid Babunagari, Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Izharul Islam’s son Harun bin Izhar, and its leader Mufti Wakkas. All were later released on bail. In his confessional statement before a court, Babunagari admitted that Hefazat activists were involved in the anarchy. The Qawmi madrasa-based Islamist group came to the forefront in early 2013 to counter a non-stop demonstration at the Shahbagh intersection. On May 5, 2013, they held a rally at Motijheel to press home their 13-point demands that included formulation of an anti-blasphemy law,  removal of all "idols," banning free mixing of men and women, and declaring the Ahmadiyyas non-Muslim. But the gathering turned violent at noon with Hefazat supporters unleashing a reign of terror in nearby areas, causing the deaths of around two dozen people and Tk2 crore worth of damage to properties.
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