Hefazat-e-Islam announced its 33-member new central committee on Monday, dropping names of its controversial leaders, who have been put behind bars for violence in the country.
Junaid Babunagari and Nurul Islam Jihadi have been made ameer and secretary general of Hefazat-e-Islam respectively.Jihadi announced the committee at a press conference in Makhjanul Ulum Madrasa at Khilgaon in the capital.
The religious fundamentalist group formed the new committee one and an half months after dissolving its previous committee in the face of widespread criticism.
The new committee came in the run-up to the arrest of the controversial leaders in connection with violence.
Hefazat dropped joint secretary general Mamunul Haque, organising secretary Azizul Haque Islamabadi and other controversial leaders, who are now in jail for their violent protests against Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Dhaka.
Ataullah Hafezi has been made nayeb-e-ameer, Sajedur Rahman joint secretary general and Mir Idris organising secretary.
Jihadi also announced a 16-member advisory committee and a nine-member special committee or “Majlish-e-Sura”.Speaking on the occasion, Jihadi said Hefazat will only get involved in non-political activities.
“No leaders who are detained in jail have been inducted into the new committee. The decision on inducting thee arrested leaders will be taken later,” he said.
Replying to a question whether there was any pressure to dissolve the committee on April 25, Jihadi ruled out the possibility of pressure.
Replying to another query whether there is any division in the organisation or not, Jihadi said there is no division as followers of former Hefazat Ameer Shah Ahmad Shafi will be with them.
Shafi’s son Yusuf Madani, who was vocal in the previous committee, has been included in the new committee.
On April 25, the central committee of the Qawmi Madrasa-based Hefazat was dissolved. After several hours, a five-member convening committee of Hefazat was announced with Babunagari and Jihadi as its convener and member secretary.
At least 17 people died in the violence carried out by Hefazat activists and supporters across the country from March 25 to 28 in protest against Modi’s visit.
At least 77 cases were filed against Hefazat leaders and activists over the clashes and vandalism. More than 69,000 people were accused in the cases. Many Hefazat leaders have been arrested.
Two cases were also filed against Babungari in connection with his involvement in the violence in Hathazari of Chattogram.
On June 5, a Narayanganj court sent Mamunul to Kashimpur Central Jail in Gazipur on completion of his 18-day remand in six separate cases.
On April 18, a joint team of Tejgaon Division police and DMP Detective Branch arrested Mamunul from Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasah in Mohammadpur in the capital.
Prior to that, locals caught Mamunul, who already made waves through some controversial remarks, with a woman who he claimed to be his second wife from a resort in Sonargaon of Narayanganj on April 3. They were released later.
However, the woman on April 30 filed a rape case against Mamunul.
Top Hefazat leaders called on the home minister twice in April and May, demanding the release of its leaders and withdrawal of the cases.
Last month, the Anti-Corruption Commission launched investigation into more than 50 leaders of Hefazat, including Babunagari and Mamunul, on charges of embezzlement and corruption.