National, Back Page

Banned Hizb’ut spreads anti-govt posters

Published : 30 Aug 2019 08:56 PM | Updated : 04 Sep 2020 03:31 AM

Despite several attempts by law enforcing agencies to prevent their illegal activities, the banned militant organization Hizb ut-Tahrir Bangladesh continues to spread propaganda against the government. After holding an online conference on financial matters in July this year, the so-called Islamic political party has now become desperate in circulating anti-government posters in different parts of the city to tarnish the good public images of the government.

Several journalists of Bangladesh Post also found evidence of such anti-government promotional publicity materials like posters published by Hizbut pasted on walls, pillars or hung on main thoroughfares in the city. In the posters, the organization branded for their ‘terrorist’ activities, alleged that the government is ‘threatening’ people not to protest against the Indian government’s recent decision of removing special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

They claimed that the government is doing so only to please its ‘imperialist and Kafir (non-believers) masters.’ Terming the people of Jammu and Kashmir as part of the Muslim Umma, Hizbut urged the Muslim communities to unite and resist government brokering in favour of India. “Let us join in the struggle of establishing the Khelefat to free Kashmir from the occupation of India,” the extremist posters of the Islamist terrorist outfit read.

Police arrested some of the general activists of Hizbut while they were engaged in pasting posters on the walls of some buildings or while distributing Jihadist leaflets containing misleading information.In exclusive access of information, the police Intelligence sources told Bangladesh Post that the organization carries out such a mission of spreading propaganda in the early hours of a day when it is still dark to conceal their physical identity.

The Hizbut activists mainly carry out displaying of the posters on walls and hang them just before and after the Azan of Fazr prayers, the source mentioned.To escape being arrested, they even hire street children and drug addicts to paste and hang the posters in prominent places.A counter-terrorism department official said, “Hizbut has a strong organizational footing in three divisional towns - Dhaka, Chattogram, and Sylhet. They also maintain a network of well-coordinated grass-root activists in all the district towns.”

At least seventy percent of Hizbut leaders and activists are regular students, intelligence sources confirmed.They have been trained up in such a way that they do not disclose any secret information when they are interrogated after the arrest. They also try to recruit members when they are in jail.Meanwhile, many of the posters on display or preserved were also seized. But the law enforcing agencies so have failed to uncover the printing presses used to print the anti-state propaganda posters and leaflets.

Speaking to Bangladesh Post on Thursday, a senior intelligence officer on condition of anonymity said, “Although Hizbut Tahrir is not hugely popular for taking part in massive anti-terrorists attacks in the country, it cannot be ruled out that they would not carry out any militant attack in the future.”Hizbut as an organisation has two different approaches,” he explained adding, “They work aggressively in the Muslim majority countries. But they work in a very peaceful manner where Muslims are a minority.”

The counter-terrorism experts said that after reaching an extreme level of radicalization, Hizbut cadres may use tactics of launching terrorist acts like suicide attacks.According to leading political analysts, the war crime trials and the subsequent conviction of the Jamaat-Shibir leaders may have vastly instigated Hizbut activists to stand against the present political situation and plan even harsher tactics to make dents on the good reputation of the government which continues to earn global recognition for its unprecedented developments.

In that case, Hizbut may also change their current strategies and start carrying out destructive activities like other Islamist terrorist groups.Earlier on August 24, Bangladesh Post carried an exclusive report titled ‘Jamaat-Hizbut in revenue stamp forgery’. The report said that Jamaat and Hizbut joined hands in collecting funds for terrorism.

Senior Assistant Commissioner, Md Solaiman Miah, team leader of the Robbery Prevention Team of Serious Crime Investigation Division of Detective Branch under Dhaka Metropolitan Police ( DMP), also said, “ We came to know that Ahmmad Hossain Manik, absconding owner of a printing press in the city where forged revenue stamps and Hizbut leaflets were being printed since long, is an active Jamaat member.”

Solaiman Miah’s superior Mir Muddasser Hossain, also deputy commissioner of the DB's serious crime unit, said, “We found large numbers of forged revenue stamps, leaflets of banned Hizbut Tahrir, and Jamaat-BNP’s anti-government publications from a printing press in the city.”