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Dhaka Tribune

Wanted Hizb ut-Tahrir member arrested after eight years

RAB has identified Uday as an active member of the extremist group’s “Dawat” and finance departments

Update : 26 Dec 2022, 10:51 PM

Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) personnel have arrested a wanted member of the banned militant outfit Hizb ut-Tahrir, who had been on the run for more than eight years. 

The arrestee -- Nafiz Salam Uday, 45, a resident of the city's Adabor area -- was wanted in three cases filed with different police stations in Dhaka.

RAB has identified Uday as an active member of the extremist group's “Dawat” and finance departments.

Tipped off, a special team of the Anti-Terrorism Cell of RAB-2 conducted a drive at Kamrangirchar at noon on Sunday and arrested Uday, UNB quoted Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Md Fazlul Haque, who is also a senior additional director (Media) of RAB-2, as saying.

There are three cases against him at Mohammadpur and Adabor police stations, and a police assault case at Mohammadpur police station.

The Anti-Terrorism Tribunal also issued an arrest warrant against Uday. He remained a fugitive for eight years, RAB said.

“He used to distribute anti-state leaflets and invite people to various mosques while keeping in contact with the ameer of the Bangladesh branch of Hizb ut-Tahrir and other group leaders,” ASP Fazlul Haque said.

He added that RAB would interrogate him and continue its drives to arrest the other members of Hizb ut-Tahrir.

The arrest comes at a time when law enforcers say they are conducting special drives to arrest militants in Dhaka and across the country, as they pose a threat to national security.

Who are these Hizb ut-Tahrir members?

The Bangladesh chapter of Hizb ut-Tahrir had its activities initiated by Nasimul Gani and Kawsar Shahnewaz under Dr Syed Golam Maula, then a teacher at the Institute of Business Administration in Dhaka University, in 2000. 

They have a strong presence online, in colleges, and at public and private universities. The group regularly organizes discussions or halaqa with its male and female members.  

The Awami League government banned it on October 22, 2009, owing to its anti-state activities. They usually campaign against the government, the US and Jewish people, and have always instigated the army to take over power with a view to establishing a Shariah-based state in Bangladesh. 

Since 2013, a good number of leaders and activists of this group have been found involved in militant attacks which have killed dozens of people in armed attacks. The attacks were later claimed by Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS). Some of its members also went to Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan to join IS and AQIS. 

The group's presence is visible as it pastes posters, distributes leaflets and organises processions and rallies at mosques after Jummah prayers in Dhaka and other parts of the country, amid a crackdown by law enforcers.

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