New Bangladesh terror outfit Ansar Rajshahi targeting Hindus, say cops

Dhaka: A new Bangladeshi militant outfit, aligned to the Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen (JMB), has prepared a list of local Hindus and secularists, and finalised plans to kill a Hindu doctor, police said.

The Ansar Rajshahi outfit has finalised plans to kill Nirendranath Sarker. The members communicate with each other through a secured messaging application, police said.

The outfit has prepared a list of local Hindus and secularists who they plan to target.

Absconding JMB leader Shariful Islam Khalid, a Rajshahi University student who was involved in the murder of his teacher Rezaul Karim in April this year, is one of the organisers of the Ansar Rajshahi, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

Bangladeshi policemen clear out an area to facilitate action against heavily armed militants who struck at the heart of Bangladesh's diplomatic zone on Friday night, taking dozens of hostages at a restaurant popular with foreigners, Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday, July 2, 2016. Police sustained casualties and dozens of people were wounded in a gun battle as security forces cordoned off the area and sought to end the standoff.(AP Photo)

Representational image. AP

They came to know about the outfit after questioning two cousins of Shariful — Aminul Islam Rumi and Enamul Huq Sabuj.

The duo were arrested on Monday night and produced before a Rajshahi court the following day with a five-day remand prayer for each. The hearing may take place next week, according to court sources.

During interrogation, Rumi disclosed the names of three of his associates in Ansar Rajshahi.

Since last year, the JMB members have killed at least seven Hindu priests across the country while threatened several dozen Hindus and Christians with death. The outfit also launched attacks on three Christians in the northern districts. Two of them were killed.

Known as a stronghold of outlawed JMB, Baghmara saw a deadly bomb attack on a local Ahmadiyya mosque on 26 December last year that killed the JMB suicide attacker and injured 10 devotees.

In 2004, JMB second-in-command Siddiqul Islam alias Bangla Bhai established a reign of terror in the area by killing and torturing scores of people.

The authorities on 29 July announced Tk 1 lakh bounty for Shariful and another JMB militant — Nazrul Islam alias Bike Hassan who was wanted in 11 cases filed over the recent targeted killings including Prof Rezaul murder. Nazrul was killed in an alleged gunfight with the DB police in Rajshahi on 1 August.

Rajshahi Police Superintendent Moazzem Hossain on Tuesday said that they had found a secured messaging app on their phones.

"We have got 58-page printed document of their conversations," Hossain said.

Through the app, Rumi recently asked a member of his group whether he would launch the attack on the Hindu doctor as he had refused to convert to Islam. He, however, sought an associate since the location of the target was close to a police station.

In another communication, Sabuj told someone that he wanted to carry the operational cost of killing the targeted Hindu doctor.

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Updated Date: Aug 20, 2016 12:45:23 IST

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