Top radical leader Mamunul nabbed

Police arrested Hefazat-e-Islam’s Joint Secretary General Mamunul Haque from a madrasa in Dhaka’s Mohammadpur area on Sunday.

A joint team of police and detective branch raided Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa on Sunday and arrested the radical leader.

Mamunul has been in the limelight due to some recent controversies.

Half a dozen of Hefajat leaders were arrested in last couple of days in connection with cases filed following the mayhem in 2013 and in the late march this year.

Talking to the reporters, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Joint Commissioner (DB) Mahbub Alam said, “We‘re bringing Mamunul to DB's Mintoo Road office.”

He was arrested in a case filed against him and 16 others with Paltan Model Police Station on April 6, he added.

Khandaker Arif-uz-Zaman, a businessman of Wari area and also the deputy office secretary of Dhaka South Jubo League, lodged the case for allegedly torching vehicles, vandalising shops and looting valuables near the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque during Hefajat's demonstrations on March 26.

DB officials said a huge number of law enforcers surrounded the madrasa around 12:30pm. Teachers and students initially tried to obstruct them during the raid.

Later, Mamunul was detained from a room on the first floor of the institution, they said.

After his arrest, DMP’s Deputy Commissioner Harun-or-Rashid said, "Mamunul is accused in several cases, including attacks on law enforcers and police stations and vandalism. We’re investigating these cases. We found evidence that Mamunul was involved in the incident."

He further said that Mamunul was under watch following recent attacks across the country by Hefajat men.

Mamunul, who represents the forces who stood against the independence of Bangladesh in 1971, gave inciting speech during Hefajat's mayhem in 2013. 

At several programmes recently, he also instigated people, who attacked police stations, police outposts and other establishments across the country, the DC said while replying to a query at his office.

Mamunul will be produced before the court on Monday.

Asked whether police will seek remand for him, the DC said that they will first consult with senior officers in this regard and take all legal measures.

On April 3, people found and surrounded the Hefazat leader staying with a woman at Royal Resort in Sonargaon who Mamunul claimed was his second wife.

Local administration and police officials went to the resort upon hearing about the incident.

Police said at the time Mamunul was not detained or arrested and that they were trying to find out what happened.

Later on, stick-wielding Hefazat supporters launched an attack on the resort. They vandalized it and snatched Mamunul from the police.

According to sources concerned, Mamunul had been staying at the madrasa since the resort incident and was under police scanner.

Meanwhile, the Hefazat leader has been sued in several cases filed over violence in BaitulMukarram National Mosque in Dhaka and following his confinement with the woman at the Sonargaon resort.

DB officials said Mamunul is also an accused in a number of cases filed over the Hefazat mayhem in the capital on May 5 in 2013.

On May 5, 2013, thousands of members of Hefajat, a Qawmi madrasa-based Islamist organisation, locked into a clash with law enforcers and ruling Awami League men, turning Motijheel and Paltan areas into battlefields.

A total of 83 cases were filed in seven districts, including Dhaka, accusing 3,416 named and 84,796 unnamed people.

Police have pressed charges in 18 cases and submitted final reports in two other cases. Investigations of 62 other cases have been stalled.

He will be shown arrested in the old cases at first and later will be taken into remand for interrogation in other cases as well, they added. 

Earlier, the Hefazat leader made the headlines by his controversial remarks regarding sculptures. He is also accused of threatening the government in the past.

In November last year, he demanded an immediate halt to the installation of a sculpture of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in the capital's Dholaipar.