The wanted man ran in the upazila polls as an independent from Feni Sadar and lost
Ajaharul Haque Arju, a captain in Joynal Hazari’s now defunct steering committee in Feni, has been arrested and sent to jail in five cases.
Arju, who was wanted in these cases, was produced before Feni’s Senior Judicial Magistrate Tania Islam’s court around 3:30pm on Monday, which later sent him to the district jail, police said.
Acting on a tip-off, police arrested Arju from his home in Dharmapur Amtoli of Feni town on Sunday night, said Feni model police station Officer-in-Charge, Abul Kalam Azad.
Wanted, Arju had also contested in Sunday’s fourth phase upazila polls from Feni Sadar as an independent chairman candidate.
However, he lost to rival candidate Abdur Rahman of the Awami League, who was elected chairman with 41,768 votes. Arju got only 5,240 votes.
Former Awami League lawmaker Joynal Hazari, once known as the godfather of Feni, formed the steering committee with members drawn from his close accomplices in 1993.
According to locals and police, Arju was Captain No 1 in that committee from 1993 to 2001.
Striking terror in the hearts of people in Feni, the committee members ruthlessly suppressed those who dared to stand in the way of Joynal Hazari, who “ruled and controlled” the politics of Feni for 23 years as the general secretary of the district Awami League unit.
During that time, Arju served as the Dharmapur union chairman and district unit president of Bangladesh Chhatra League.
He also fled the country in 2001 with Joynal, after the BNP-Jamaat-e-Islami government came to power.
At the time, Arju was accused in at least two dozen cases. Some of those were murder cases, including the ones filed over the killings of Jatiyatabadi Jubo Dal leader Nasir, Jatiyatabadi Chhatra Dal leader Tushar, and local contractor Jalil.
Arju returned to Bangladesh with Joynal after Awami League returned to power in 2008. By that time, he was acquitted of all charges in most of these cases.
According to sources in the local ruling party unit, Arju tried to reestablish dominance in Awami League politics in Feni over the past decade with Joynal Hazari’s support. But he failed to enter the political arena facing fierce obstruction from the party’s district unit top brass.
Joynal Hazari was suspended from Awami League on May 3, 2005, for his statements against the party. The suspension order is still in place.