“He did not become a militant when he was staying here in Biddyanandan area of Rajarhat upazila in Kurigram,” they said.
Saddam's older brother, Mizanur Rahman, and neighbours disclosed the above while talking to the Dhaka Tribune.
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Before sitting for the admission test for BA (Hons) in History at Lalmanirhat Government College for the 2013-14 session, Saddam completed his Dakhil and Alim examinations while he was still staying at Kurigram, Mizanur added.
There was nothing suspicious about Saddam's attitude and behaviour towards others at that time. However, he had almost stopped visiting home after he joined college and married a girl without the knowledge of his family in Gaibandha in 2014.
Mizanur gravely added: “We do not know how and under whose influence Saddam became a militant. But we are sure he did not turn into a militant while he was with us in the village.”
When asked whether Saddam turned into a militant after getting married in Gaibandha, Mizanur said: “It may be true. We heard through media that activities of Jamaat-Shibir and militant groups were more prevalent in Gaibandha.”
Saddam's neighbours could not believe that he became a militant. They were all baffled as to how a “polite and gentle boy” like Saddam could have gone astray.
However, Saddam's neighbours – Tajul Islam, Mahir Uddin, Sultana, Razia, Meherun and others – said he could have gotten influenced and joined the militants after leaving home for studies.
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Gaibandha Ward-9 Commissioner Anowar Hossain said: “Saddam became a militant in Shundorganj of Gaibandha's as he never visited the village after getting married.”
As the locals believe there is “no militant activities” in their area, they think Saddam either got married in Gaibandha being involved in militancy or he got involved with JMB after he got married.
Kurigram SP Mohammad Mehedul told the Dhaka Tribune: “Police from Kurigram and other districts and upazilas are very vigilant. There is no scope for militant training in Kurigram. It seems Saddam did not get involved with JMB from here but elsewhere.”
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Saddam Hossain was shot in a gunfight with police in Mohammadpur's Beribadh area on Thursday night.