Top Jamaat-e-Islami leader and listed 1971 war criminal Shahjahan Chowdhury has been arrested by the police for allegedly instigating the violence unleashed by radical outfit Hefazat-e-Islam on March 26 during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Bangladesh, said Abdullah Al Masum, Superintendent of Police (Special Branch), Chittagong. The arrest was made on Friday night.
According to the police, Chowdhury is accused in over 20 criminal cases, including fanning communal tension and for his role in the genocide of 1971.
Chittagong SP Masum confirmed with IANS on Saturday, “We have found evidence of Chowdhury’s involvement in the violence that Hefazat-e-Islam unleashed on March 26-28 in Chittagong’s Hathazari.”
The police said the 1971 war criminal will be shown arrested as a provocateur in the case.
Chowdhury is accused in a case filed in connection with the massacre and atrocity unleashed by Hefazat -Jamat-BNP militants at Hathazari in Chattogram. He was arrested following a police raid at his home in the Chhamdar area in Satkania municipality in Chattogram.
Hefazat-BNP and Jamaat militants were involved in extensive violence and vandalism in Hathazari during Narendra Modi’s visit in March, including an attack on the local police station. Around 2,500 unidentified persons have been accused in 10 cases in connection with the mayhem.
After the assassination of the father of the nation, Bangabondhu Sheikh Mujibor Rahman, in 1975, Chowdhury reportedly led the mass killings of local freedom fighters by the students of ‘Shibir’, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami.
During the Jamaat-BNP regime (2001-2005), underworld don in Chittagong, Ahmadul Huq Chowdhury (locally known as ‘Ahmodu’ or ‘Ahmoidya’) left the Jamaat to work for the then ruling party BNP in 2004, after the son of Tareq Zia Khaleda offered him nomination to be a lawmaker, countering Chowdhury .
Ahmodu exposed Chowdhury’s mission to kill freedom fighters, pro-liberation forces and open thinkers in Chittagong. Ahmodu said he was forced to kill freedom fighters, as he was blackmailed by Jamaat leader and then Chittagong lawmaker Chowdhury in the name of religion.
Ahmodu had also announced a 90-day ultimatum for Chowdhury, saying “either you or me will be alive after 90 days”.
Within a couple of days after making the bold announcement in an exclusive interview with ‘Shaptahik 200’, Ahmodu was killed along with two of his associates in a cross-fire by the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the elite force of the police, on September 10, 2004.