A member of Nayan’s inner circle, on condition of anonymity, provided valuable access to Dhaka Tribune
Barguna’s Nayan, at the time of his death by a police shootout, was a public terror in the town of Barguna, using his political network for protection and social media networks for execution of operations.
His associates have abandoned their existing social media groups, and opened new ones which could be tied to political persons. Nayan’s death has increased further vetting among his associates, who now operate as Team-61.
Sabbir Hossain Nayan, who adopted the nom du guerre Nayan Bond after he was involved in a fight between two factions at a Barguna in July 2014, skyrocketed to infamy after a viral CCTV video footage showed him with his associates cut down a man in broad daylight.
The 2014 case did not lead to Nayan’s arrest, which instead bolstered his confidence. He quickly gatered his closest comrades and other youth he influenced into the Bond 007 gang.
The Bond 007 gang had a dedicated Facebook page and a Facebook group for public promotion, and a Messenger group for internal communications. Various media outlets have reported that the gang members used the Messenger group to plan and carry out attacks.
A member of Nayan’s inner circle, on condition of anonymity, provided valuable access to Dhaka Tribune.
Crimes in the cyber age
According to the source, the Bond 007 Messenger group was used largely for planning criminal activities, and at times, joining large popular protests. At the beginning of Ramadan this year, the group swelled to over 150 members, many conscripted upon threats and intimidating tactics. The group’s chat history throughout June did not mention Minni or Rifat Sharif in any way. Several members – Sadnam Pappu, Asif Nice Saikat, Abdullah Rifat and Shahriar Imran – have been found to be more active compared to the rest.
On June 26, Shahriar posted a photo to the group, informing them of Rifat Sharif’s death. When another member named Ashikur Rahman Ashik asked for confirmation, Shahriar said he had contacted the local hospital.
After several media outlets reported on the Messenger group’s existence, many members panicked. When news broke of Nayan’s death on July 2, it prompted a large-scale departure and the group was shut down. Many members also deactivated their accounts, preventing them from being identified. But Rifat Farazi, Arian Srabon, and Kamrul Hasan Saimon, three arrested suspects could be identified.
However, the others would soon reform in another Messenger group with 61 trusted members. While the original group was created by Nayan, the new chat group called Team-61 was created by his cousin Irfan Ahmed Bishal, son of Burirchar UP Chairman Siddikur Rahman. Siddikur is married to the younger sister of the wife of Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu, the local lawmaker from the ruling party, whose son Sunam Debnath allegedly provided political patronage to Nayan.
The members of Team-61 chat group have also grown in number. Several members who migrated from Bond 007 use the new group to discuss the latest developments and plan accordingly.
On July 2, Shahriar shared a photo of Nayan’s body, to which another member Irfan Ahmed asked if he was sure it was Nayan.
Soon after, the chat group purged a series of members, and some left of their own accord.
Several associates of Nayan have been found in many Awami Leage and Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) programs. Rabbi Akon, one of the suspects listed in the FIR, was part of the district committee to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the BCL.
Dhaka Tribune asked Tanvir Hossain, secretary of the Barguna district BCL unit, about BCL members involved in the murder of Rifat Sharif. Tanvir said the organization can only act against those who hold positions. When asked what actions would be taken against Rabbi, Tanvir refused to comment.
Abir Mohammad Hossain, officer-in-charge of the Barguna Sadar police station, said the police only learned of the Bond 007 chat group after the murder. He said there have been no complaints about social media groups being used to carry out criminal activities.
Dhaka Tribune has learned of the existence of another Messenger group comprised solely of college students in Barguna. The group, called “Larelappa”, caters solely to drug abuse in the locality.