RAB: 26 members of Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya held so far

During interrogation, they confessed to planning sabotages in different places across the country, RAB media wing director says

With the arrest of four more members of Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya” from Laksham upazila in Comilla, 26 members of the new militant outfit have been arrested so far, said Rapid Action Battalion (RAB). 

Commander Khandaker Al Moin, director of RAB's legal and media wing, revealed the information while briefing the media on Friday in Dhaka's Karwan Bazar over the arrest. 

Recently they arrested four militants -Md Abdul Kader, 24, Md Ismail Hossain,22, Muntasir Ahmmed alias Bacchu,23, and Helal Ahmed Zakaria, 33, he said. 

Tipped-off, they were arrested during a drive conducted by RAB-11 and Detective Branch (DB) in Laksham on Thursday night. 

The elite force also seized some leaflets and books on radical views from the arrestees, Commander Khandaker Al Moin said.

During interrogation, they confessed to planning sabotages in different places across the country, said Moin. 

They gave concrete information about six council or “Shura” members of the militant group including its amir (head) Mahmud, he said. 

The arrestees also disclosed that the militant group had an agreement with the separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF) to provide them shelter and training in exchange for money, he added.

“The militant group has provided Tk17 lakh to KNF to buy arms to train up their members. They get funds to serve their purposes from different sources,” said the RAB official. 

In 2019, “Jamatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya” (Jamatul Ansar of Eastern Hind) was formed. 

Some leaders and activists of different levels of banned militant groups in Bangladesh including  Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), Ansar Al Islam and Harkat-ul-Jihad-al Islami Bangladesh (HuJI-B), joined together to start the activities of this radical militant group, said the RAB official.

On Oct 21, the elite force said they arrested 10 people including seven members of the newly launched militant outfit and three members of KNF from Bandarban and Rangamati.

In 2021, the Amir of “Jamatul Ansar fil Hindal Sharqiya” had an agreement with the CHT-based armed group KNF regarding militant training in the area till next year, sad Rab.

As per the agreement, Tk3 lakh per month and food expenses of all KNF members were to be borne, according to RAB.

Earlier, on October 10, five men, including three youths, who apparently left home to join militant groups have been arrested by the RAB members from the capital's Jatrabari and Keraniganj.

On August 23, eight youths from Comilla sadar upazila went missing and a general diary was lodged with police in this regard after two days. 

The incident sparked a huge sensation across media and social media and RAB started an investigation to rescue the victims and arrest the accused.

On September 1, one of the missing youths, Shartaz Islam Niloy, 22, returned home.

On October 6, RAB arrested seven people including four missing youths for involvement with a militant group from a drive conducted in Munshiganj, Naryanganj and Mymensingh following the information collected from questioning Niloy.

On interrogation, the arrestees revealed that initially, the members of the organization used to target youths from different parts of the country, including Comilla.