The government has arrested several leaders of activists of Hefazat-e-Isam recently
Two cases have been filed against Hefazat-e-Islam chief Junayed Babungari for his alleged involvement in the violence in Chittagong's Hathazari.
A total of three cases have been filed against Hefazat-e-Islam activists and others while the Hefazat emir’s name was mentioned in two cases with the Hathazari police station on Thursday, Officer-in-Charge Rafiqul Islam confirmed on Monday.
The other accused in the three cases include BNP executive committee member Mir Helal Uddin, Hathazari upazila Jamaat chief and 3,000 others.
The cases were filed centring the March 26 incident where Hefazat rioted during the anti-Modi protests and even set fire to the police station.
When asked why the cases were filed on Thursday and the confirmation came as late as Monday, Hathazari police OC Rafiqul Islam told Prothom Alo that it took time to verify the names and addresses involved in case.
"So that no innocent people are victims of harassment, and actual people have been accused, we took time to verify. There was nothing else at play here," said Rafiqul.
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According to police sources, 186 people have been named accused, including with Babunagari, along with 3,000 unidentified accused.
Earlier on Sunday night, Hefazat-e-Islam chief Junayed Babunagari announced the dissolution of the organization's central committee. Two hours later, Hefazat formed a five-member convening committee.
Chittagong Police District Special Branch (DSB) Constable Md Solaiman filed the case as a plaintiff. Junaid Babungari, Hefazat leader Mir Idris, Nasir Uddin, Zakaria Noman, Ahsan Ullah and 16 others were named in the case.
According to the case statement, Solaiman was held from the Hathazari District Council office area on March 26 and locked up at the madrasa and was threatened to be killed.
Later, in another case filed by Hathazari police station Inspector Amir Hossain, 84 people, including Junaid Babungari, Hefazat leader Zakaria Noman and Amir of Upazila Jamaat were accused. There were also 2,500 to 3,000 unidentified accused.
Hathazari police sub-inspector (SI) Harun Or Rashid became the plaintiff in another case filed against 58 named accused inluding BNP executive committee member Mir Helal Uddin, Chittagong North District Jubo Dal vice-president Syed Iqbal, Upazila Hefazat-e-Islam Joint General Secretary Emran Sikder and another 250 to 300 unnamed accused.
According to the case statement, during the strike called by Hefazat-e-Islam, the accused created unrest in Hathazari Sadar upazila and Ichapur Bazar by setting fire to vehicles and offices. The accused attacked the police on March 26-27, and vandalized and torched buildings, police stations and the Assistant Commissioner (Land) office.
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Protesting the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Bangladesh, Hefazat activists clashed with police and ruling party members in front of Baitul Mukarram mosque in Dhaka after Friday prayers on March 26. Four people were killed in police firing in that incident.
Agitated by the deaths, Hefazat activists attacked Hathazari and Patia police stations, Hathazari Post Office, Assistant Commissioner (Land) and Sadar Union Land offices.
The amount of loss for the government was about Tk92 lakh. Eight cases including vandalism and arson were registered in Hathazari police station and eight in Patia police station four days after the incident.
In these cases, 4,300 unidentified people were accused in the cases filed by the police. The cases were filed under the Anti-Terrorism and Special Powers Act.