Thursday, 7 July, 2022

HuJI founder ran militant training camp

HuJI founder ran militant training camp

Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B) founder Abdul Hai set up a training camp for militants in Ukhiya of Cox’s Bazar in 1992, a year after he returned home from Afghanistan after fighting a war against Russia.

As HuJI activities came to the fore, Abdul Hai went underground in 2006. Later, he had been residing in Narayanganj since 2009.

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) revealed the information on Thursday, a day after Abdul Hai, a death-row convict in the case filed over his attempt to murder then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at Kotalipara of Gopalganj, was arrested in Fatullah of Narayanganj.

He was also a condemned convict in Ramna Batamul bomb blast case.

                He is wanted in 13 cases. Of those, warrants of arrest were issued in seven cases. Of the seven, death sentence was declared against him in two cases and life imprisonment in two others.

Being a mujahid, he fought for Afghanistan against Russia in the 1980s, said Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director (Legal and Media Wing) of the RAB, at a press briefing in the capital.

After returning to Bangladesh, he formally launched HuJI in 1991 after he founded the militant group in Afghanistan.

He set up a militant training camp at Ukhiya in Cox’s Bazar in 1992, said the officer.

A militant leader of a neighbouring country used to supply firearms to the training camp while Abdul Hai and two others provided trainings for militants.

But, the joint forces busted the camp through arresting 41 militants from there in 1996, which irritated the arrestee to make an attempt to kill Sheikh Hasina, said the RAB officer.

According to the RAB officer, besides the attempt to murder the prime minister by planting a 76-kg bomb near a rally at Kotalipara in 2000, Abdul Hai was involved in bomb attacks at Ramna Batmul in 2001, grenade attack on  the Awami League rally on Bangabandhu Avenue in 2004 and grenade attacks in Habiganj in 2005.

Some 10 people were killed and many injured in the bomb attacks at Ramna, the grenade attacks on Bangabandhu Avenue on August 21, 2004  killed at least 24 people and wounded about 300 others while five people, including former Finance Minister Shah AMS Kibria, and wounded about 100 people at Habiganj sadar on January 27, 2005.

On the education and join in the militancy, the RAB officer said that Abdul Hai studied Hifz in Dewvog Madrasa of Narayanganj from 1972 to 1978.

After that, he went to India and got admitted to Darul Uloom Deoband in 1981. He passed Dawra-e-Hadith from the madrasa in 1985.

Later, he went to Karachi in Pakistan where he passed Ifta course from a madrasa after studying for two years.

In 1989, Abdul Hai and some other Bangladeshi students went to Afghanistan and joined in the war as a mujahid.

After returning to Bangladesh, he held a press briefing at the National Press Club in Dhaka in 1991 and formally declared the name of HuJI-B. After that, he began activities of the militant organisation.

He also ran a monthly newspaper named ‘Jago Mujahid.’  The office of the newspaper was located at Taltala in Khilgaon. It was banned in 2000.

On the hiding of the militant leader for 17 years, Al Moin said that Abdul Hai went into hiding in 2006 when the militant activities of the HuJI-B came to the fore.

He first went to Gowripur of Daudkandi in Cumilla and lived in his father-in-law’s house until 2009. He ran his father-in-law’s business there.

Later, he began to live in Narayanganj after being voters by changing his name and the names of his family members.

The RAB officer said that he mainly stayed inside house, but hardly came outside.