Khamaru was arrested from Hamirkutsa area of Baghmara Upazila around 11:30am Monday allegedly for regrouping the organisation. He hails from Talghoria village of Hamirkutsa Union.
He was shown arrested in a case filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act and produced before a district court, Baghmara OC Selim Hossain told the Dhaka Tribune's Abdullah Al Dulal. “The court has sent him to jail. We will seek his remand later.”
Khamaru is accused in several cases filed with Baghmara police for murder, torture, abduction and extortion in the area in 2004.
From March 31 to May 24 that year, Shayakh Abdur Rahman's JMB and its associate organisation Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) – under the leadership of Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai – carried out series of attacks on members of the Awami League and outlawed leftist groups with the blessings of the then BNP-Jamaat government. At least 24 people were killed and several hundreds injured in the attacks conducted in broad daylight.
Acting as a regional commander of the JMB, Khamaru even took part in an armed procession of the outfit in Rajshahi town in 2004.
“Police are investigating one of those cases while the others are under trial,” the OC said.
After the two outfits were banned on February 23, 2005, RAB arrested Khamaru on November 27. But he was released soon after then prime minister Khaleda Zia's son Tarique phoned state minister for home Lutfozzaman Babar for his release, according to a US embassy cable released by whistleblowing website WikiLeaks.
Tarique was acting at the behest of then state minister for land Ruhul Kuddus Talukder Dulu, the cable says. Several other ministers and local lawmakers supported Bangla Bhai at that time.
JMB leader Khamaru was later arrested twice – on March 9, 2007 and July 23, 2012, but managed to come out of jail on bail. In 2012, he was shown arrested in a case filed for abduction and torture of one Amir Ali of Baghmara in 2004. He went into hiding after getting bail.
But earlier this year, Khamaru became a chairman candidate in Hamirkutsa Union Parishad election from HM Ershad's Jatiya Party. But the polls were suspended after media reports suggested that several JMB operatives were contesting in the UP election; one of them from the ruling Awami League.
“Khamaru was trying to regroup the outfit from hideouts,” SI Mirza Mazharul Islam of Jugipara police investigation centre under Baghmara said after his arrest on Monday.
Last year, law enforcers arrested Bangla Bhai's adviser Prof Lutfar Rahman Pramanik, a madrasa teacher in Baghmara. Facing at least 10 criminal cases, Lutfar was earlier arrested on December 26, 2005 and September 20, 2012.