Police have arrested seven members of the same family – including six women – in the Chhoyghati village of Godagari upazila in Rajshahi.
The members of the militant group were arrested in the villages of Chhoyghati and Kashiadanga on Wednesday.
Police have received word that one of these seven was involved in the terrorist attack at Benipur in the upazila. Moreover, two of them have spread hateful leaflets which painted the celebration of Pohela Boishakh as Hindu idolatry on Saturday.
Four of the arrestees Hasan Ali, 43, his wife Shefali Khatun, 35, and their two daughters Fariha Khatun Kona and Hanifa Khatun, 17 and 19 respectively, all hail from Chhoyghati village. The other three arrestees are the three daughters of Hasan Ali’s deceased brother – Farzana Akhtar Sweety, 17, Razia Sultana Tisha, 22, and Rozina Sultana Koli, 25.
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The other arrestees Abdullah Al Dulal/Dhaka Tribune
Of these people, Kona and Sweety were involved in the spreading of inflammatory leaflets and Hasan, a listed JMB militant, was involved with the terrorist attack in Benipur.
Speaking at a press conference following the arrest of the suspects on Wednesday, Superintendent of Police Md Shahidullah said: “On Saturday, Kona and Sweety distributed leaflets which demonized the festival of Pohela Boishakh before quickly going into hiding. Police have been after them ever since, and they have been apprehended as a result of that very investigation. The two girls have already confessed to the allegations.
“We have also found out from our investigations that Hasan Ali was involved with the Benipur attack that happened on May 13, 2017. He has already served jail time on militancy charges. While the charge sheet for the last case has not been filed yet, other people arrested over the charges have already confessed to Hasan’s involvement in the matter,” he also said.
“Members of this family used to regularly plot terrorist attacks and attend secret JMB meetings, also inciting militant sentiments by influencing people to join the evil cause,” he added.
The Police Super also said: “The leaflets said they belonged to a company called ‘Aboho Foundation.’ We feel that this is a fake organization. However, we will find out where they are being printed and who’s behind them by investigating the matter.”