6 cr taka channelled via Hefazat leader’s account for militancy: Police

Bangladesh Police have found transactions of 6 crore takas in the bank accounts of arrested militant outfit Hefazat-e-Islam leader Mamunul Haque, and are checking the use of the donated money, which is suspected to have been be used for funding militancy, officials said on Monday.

Hefazat had, in the name of aid to Rohingya refugees, development of madrasas and welfare of their students, and for its own fund, collected a huge amount of donations, mostly from expatriates, but most of this money had been spent on militancy and on Mamunul’s personal works, police officials told IANS.

Law enforcers found inconsistencies in use of these funds, Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Joint Commissioner, Detective Branch, Mahbub Alam said.

There were also inconsistencies in transactions made by Hefazat’s former ‘Finance Secretary’ Monir Hossain Kashemi.

“The police agencies will file charges in the court very soon… All are under investigation, but we could not figure out the amount yet,” Alam added.

Mamunul, who had been arrested from Jamia Rahmania Arabia Madrasa at Mohammadpur in the capital on April 18 in connection with the violence across the country during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-visit in March and some earlier cases, had confessed he had links with a Pakistan militant group and was trying to oust the Sheikh Hasina government to establish a Taliban state.

“Mamunul had a link with a radical outfit in Pakistan. He went to Pakistan in 2005 and stayed there for 40 days. He received militancy training from the outfit. He returned to the country with radical ideology and carried out violent activities in our country. Besides, he plotted to oust the government,” a police official said, adding that Mamunul had got involved with the Pakistan militant outfit with the help of his brother-in-law Niamat Ullah.

Mamunul, who is well-known among Islamic hardliners for his ‘hate speech’ and violent sermons in religious congregations and on social media, had used Hefazat to gain political advantage, using students of Qawmi madrasas, the breeding ground of the militants, police said.

On April 3, local people caught the Hefazat leader with a woman at the Royal Resort in Sonargaon of Narayanganj. Mamunul claimed the woman named Jannat Ara Jharna to be his second wife, but could not show any documents.

There are 17 cases in Dhaka against Mamunul, and 15 of these were filed by the police after Hefazat’s siege in Dhaka’s Motijheel Shapla Chattar in May 2013, during which its activists had freely indulged in violence and mayhem.

The Detective Bureau is investigating 14 of these cases,and some others relating to the recent incidents of vandalism by the name of protesting Modi’s visit to Dhaka.