View Full Version : Disturbing news from Daily Star(Bangladesh)

May 5, 2004, 04:54 PM
Cops back jungle rule in northwest
A self-styled vigilante group kills people in the name of anti-outlaw operations, force women to wear burka and men to grow beards all under direct police support
Staff Correspondent

In the northwest, he is the law. Women retreat at his approach, hurriedly covering up their head and face. Those who dare to differ with him know their mistakes the hard way in his torture cell. Azizur Rahman is his name, but he prefers to call himself Bangla Bhai, people call him 'the Terror' who leads a gang that wields guns openly and picks anybody up in full knowledge of police.
In four northwestern districts, police are patronising Bangla Bhai and his organisation Jagrota Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB), which has kicked off a drive to apparently 'cleanse' leftist outlaws amid allegations of enforcement of harsh Islamic codes and crimes against the vigilante group.

A top police official yesterday said police stations in Rajshahi, Naogaon, Natore and Bogra were asked to support the group in its mission, but locals accused its members of meting out harsher punishment to 'their suspects' and women violating 'their dress codes'.

The group operatives are painting women with their navels exposed with black, randomly assaulting people terming them as Sarbahara men, extorting protection money and forcing men to wear beards and women to put on burka, villagers in the region alleged.

They said they were fearful of the activities of the group and its 'supremo' Azizur Rahman, but Aziz denied all the charges.

The JMJB, which launched the anti-extremist war in April in the region crawling with the outlawed operatives, has allegedly killed seven people and assaulted hundreds of others who oppose them, terming them as Sarbahara men.


Noor Mohammad, divisional inspector general of police (DIG), Rajshahi, told The Daily Star yesterday that Aziz and his men were assisting the law enforcers in tracking down the outlaws.

"We've asked police stations to support them whenever they go to catch outlaws."

He said the vigilantes caught two Sarbahara operatives at Baghmara in Rajshahi a week ago, adding: "After verification and interrogation, we found the pair to be really outlaws."

"You know Sarbahara men have been quite active in the region for many years and it is not possible for the undermanned and under-equipped police to hunt them down. Aziz is now helping us."

On the allegation that the vigilantes were taking the law into their own hands, he said police would keep a vigil on their excesses.

The DIG was, however, critical of the group's 'over-enthusiasm' in asking people to say their prayers and women to wear burka.

Asked whether any group like the JMJB could carry out the duty of law-enforcers, he said police could seek help from any member of the public.

State Minister for Home Lutfozzaman Babar last night said he had heard of the group which was providing tips-off to police on outlaw operations.

"We encourage such activities," he said, stressing that nobody would be allowed to take law into their own hands.

Babar said he had no knowledge of Aziz before he read some press reports on the group recently.

He said he tried to contact the DIG of Rajshahi yesterday for further details, but could not get him. The junior minister promised to look into the matter soon.

UNB adds: Over 800 alleged extremists surrendered to the JMJB at Raninagar upazila in Naogaon in the last two days, raising the number of outlaws given them up in one week to 2,000.


Aziz with a master's in Bangla from Rajshahi University to his credit launched the organisation on April 1 this year and claims that the group by now commands 3,00,000 activists across the country.

"Our goal is to root out Sarbahara men and corruption from society, seize illegal weapons and establish the ideal of the Rasul (Prophet Hazrat Mohammed (SA)," he recently told Hasibur Rahman Bilu, Borga correspondent of The Daily Star.

On the allegations of his group's enforcement of harsh Islamic codes, he said the allegations were part of a conspiracy against the 'popular JMJB'.

"The allegations of harassing women, disregarding people and extorting protection money are propaganda."

"We will continue until Qaiamat (apocalypse)," Aziz said, "We will establish a political party named JMJB if people want it."

On the JMJB's sources of income, he said, "People from all rungs of society are generously paying us funds, no-one is pressurised for money. If someone happily makes a donation, there's no problem."

Asked about the allegation that the JMJB is working with specified directives from the government, Aziz dismissed the suggestion outright. "I'm neither a government official, nor anyone's agent."

"Police do not protect us, we do not need their help. Police are there to protect the people and journalists."

He said people, including union parishad chairmen and peace-loving leaders and activists of political parties in the pockets of widespread extremist operations, were assisting them.

"Although we do not have a political opponent now, we feel cadres from both the ruling and opposition parties are secretly opposing us because of harm to their interests."

"We will give them an opportunity to correct themselves. If they fail to correct themselves, we'll take a tough line against them," he warned.

May 5, 2004, 05:09 PM
All Bangla Bhai needs is one nice Mohican styles hair cut! As for me, I would have paint his ugly beard with "munza" :lol:

May 8, 2004, 02:33 PM
D:\Documents and Settings\Rassel\My Documents\My Pictures\7804-0-Bangla%20Bhai%20Self%20Mulslim%20leaderr%20D%20sta r%20May%206.jpg

By A.H. Jaffor Ullah:On May 6, 2004, I read in the Daily Star for the first time that a ‘Mullah Omar’ like figure by the name Azizur Rahman aka Bangla Bhai (a non-standard Bangla construction!) who is dispensing justice in the northwestern districts of Bangladesh.

This man’s activities reminded me of Mullah Omar who was doing the same thing in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in the aftermath of civil war in the late 1980s when Russian soldiers had left the war-torn nation. Mullah Omar then formed a Vigilante Force with ragtag Madrassah students, which finally emerged as a very powerful political force. This is the way the Taliban party came into existence.

The Talibans in Kandahar and elsewhere in Afghanistan had meted out justice to miscreants. Ordinary Afghanis liked it so much so that they encouraged the Talibans to take control of their nation. And Mullah Omar and his brigands just did that. The rest is history.

In Bangladesh, a similar thing is happening right now. One Azizur Rahman has formed a group of vigilantes by the name ‘Jagrota Muslim Janata Bangladesh’ or JMJB to catch the members of an outlaw group, Sarbahara and mete out street justice. The sad part is the police are encouraging the rural force to aid JMJB brigands to catch the Bangladeshi desperados (Sarbahara). That is not all what the JMBJ operatives are doing in the western districts of Bangladesh. The leader, ‘Bangla Bhai’ is also enforcing strictest Islamic dress code among females. This was reported in the Daily Star report.

It seems as if the JMJB members are trying to enforce religious dictums among ordinary people. Asking men to grow beards and women to sport burka (veil) is a direct infringement to personal freedom of our people. The JMBJ goons forgot that about 10-11% people in Bangladesh are not Muslims. On top of it, many Muslims may not like the idea of keeping beard or wearing burka in a climate that is very hostile to wear Islamic garb, which is ideal for desert climate in hot summer months.

The question that pops out is – who this JMBJ thinks they are? Bangladesh is not like Afghanistan where there was no police force to enforce law and order in the wake of the civil war. Bangladesh is a burgeoning democracy and the nation has a police force. Therefore, there should not be any vigilantes manning the streets to catch outlaws such as Sarbahara men.

The ruffians who go by the name JMBJ are trying to shove ultra-Islamic values down the throat of Bangalees in rural areas. Strangely enough, the Deputy Inspector of Police, Noor Mohammad, instead of admonishing Azizur ran aka ‘Bangla Bhai’ for taking laws into his own hand had bestowed a glowing encomium to him and his ruffians for a job “well done.”

There should not be any Vigilante Force operating in Bangladesh because it undermines the capabilities of the police, which is the arm of the government to maintain law and order throughout Bangladesh. It seems as if the police in the western districts where JMBJ is very active is inoperative now and are relying on the ruffians managed by Azizur Rahman aka ‘Bangla Bhai’ to maintain law and order. This has to be a terrible development.

The Inspector General of Police in Bangladesh should immediately visit the affected districts and sack those police officers who gave moral support to JMBJ thugs. The DIG of Police, Noor Mohammad, should also be reprimanded for encouraging the Vigilante Force to carry out street justice. The Home Mister should not twiddle his thumb sitting in Dhaka hearing the news of vigilantes manning the law and order plus acting as judge all at the same time.

This scribe has seen the photo of Azizur Rahman aka Bangla Bhai who sported his full beard in the picture. This megalomaniac wants to enforce his ideas on ordinary people. Suggesting men to keep beards in this day and age is simply preposterous an idea. He is also admonishing women folks for not wearing burka. Therefore, it follows that this madman is bent on enforcing his values on others. Bangladeshi people are granted freedom of choice by the constitution of this free nation.

Why is this man hell-bent on denying the rural folks their constitutional right? To add insult to injury, the police are encouraging JMBJ ruffians to enforce street justice. It is quite possible that some innocent people may receive the street justice from Azizur Rahman and his loyal supporters.

A correspondent of DS from Naogaon reported that JMJB men yesterday allegedly beat three outlaws to death at Atrai in western part of the nation. Bangladesh has court system in place and only the judges can mete out justice. There should not be a parallel judiciary in Bangladesh. It seems as if Azizur Rahman and his gang of vigilantes are running a parallel judiciary in Bangladesh with blessings from the police.

Judging from all the reports appearing in the newspapers this scribe thinks that Azizur Rahman has become a sort of like warlord. If this megalomaniac ‘Bangla Bhai’ is not emasculated soon, other regional ‘warlords’ will emerge in various districts. Therefore, this newly developed Vigilante Force should be nipped in the bud.

The inept police of Bangladesh have miserably failed to capture members of the outlaw group Sarbahara and now they are relying on a roving gang of ruffians such as JMJB members to enforce law in rural districts. It is also apparent that the JMJB men have other ideas in their head. They want strictest brand of Islam such as Wahhabism and its code of conduct to be enforced in Bangladesh. This is the same ploy Mullah Omar of Kandahar used to gain notoriety and power.

Maybe, Azizur Rahman aka ‘Bangla Bhai’ is using the same method to gain power and popularity among our rural folks. The sooner the government crushes this neo-Talibanism in Bangladesh the better. There should not be two police forces and two judiciaries in Bangladesh. Therefore, the government should declare JMBJ an illegal or outlaw organization. But more than anything, the self-declared leader ‘Bangla Bhai’ should be brought to justice for dispensing his brand of “justice.”


[Edited on 8-5-2004 by rassel]

May 20, 2004, 09:46 PM
Link for the Picture:http://www.thedailystar.net/2004/05/21/d4052101011p.htm

Bangla Bhai vigilantes carry out avowed murders of 3 outlaws; death moan relayed by loudspeaker; body of one found hanging from tree; police claim to be unaware of the events
Staff Correspondent

In a show of cruelty beyond imagination, the Bangla Bhai outfit yesterday openly bludgeoned to death three alleged outlaws in an outlying village in Naogaon after hours of overnight announcement by loudspeaker of slaughter.

The morning shock came as villagers found one of the bodies hanging upside down from a roadside tree in Bamongram village in Nandigram upazila of Bogra, not far away from the northwestern district of Naogaon.

The rest were not found until 7:00pm although the militant operatives of Jagrata Muslim Janata Bangladesh (JMJB) led by dreaded operations commander Bangla Bhai boasted that they had also met the same fate.

Police denied the latest episode of vigilante action despite repeated announcement of the lynching by loudspeaker and discovery of the body.

The rough justice of the Islamist outfit, blamed for killing at least eight outlaws including yesterday's three since April 1, underlines the jungle rule in the northwest.

Locals said they saw a gang of up to 12 coming in a white microbus from Kaliganj direction and moved back after hanging the body from the tree on Singra-Nandigram Road. (Daily Star).

The operatives named the victim Abdul Qaiyum, better known as Badshah Mia, son of Abdul Kader, and branded him as a top leader of the banned Purbo Banglar Communist Party (PBCP).

Witnesses said as a 'show of respect' to the villagers, who pleaded that the outlaws not be slaughtered, the JMJB death squad beat them dead. The tortured groans of the victims were relayed by loudspeaker to terrorise the neighbourhood. His legs tied, Badshah in lungi bore the hallmarks of torture in captivity.

The Daily Star alerted Naogaon Superintendent of Police (SP) Fazlur Rahman late Wednesday night that the vigilante outfit captured four 'outlaws' and was planning to slaughter them in public in the morning.

The SP said he or his force had no information about such a lynching scheme and brushed aside The Daily Star's information as baseless.

But the villagers will not forget the grisly scene they witnessed as scores of operatives beat them up with hockey sticks and poles for hours in Kaligram Vetigram village in Atrai of Naogaon.

Hundreds of people flocked to the scene as the news spread before Nandigram police recovered the body of Badshah and sent it to Bogra town for autopsy.


The self-styled JMJB men picked up Badshah, Bashar and Khejur from Simba village in Raninagar and Ala from Sharia village in Atrai in Naogaon Wednesday noon in apparent backlash two days after the PBCP killed two JMJB cadres.

The outfit members announced that they would slaughter Badsha, Bashar and Khejur in public at 10:00am. Ala, believed to have roles in a string of killings, was learnt to be alive until yesterday afternoon.

Hours after the killings, the SP in Naogaon and Additional SP Harunar Rashid told The Daily Star that they were not aware of such news.

"But we have heard from villagers that the JMJB men have picked up four outlaws," the ASP said, adding he did not find proof of it.

But Bogra SP Kazi Mortaz Ahmed confirmed the body recovery but said: "Without a probe, it is impossible for me to say who killed him."

Raninagar residents linked Badshah as a member of the PBCP killing squad and blamed him for the killing of as many as 50 people including JMJB members Nazrul, Abdur Rashid, Zillur Rahman and Abdul Majid.

They also believe Bashar and Khejur had roles in a series of other killings.

The JMJB men denied killing anyone yesterday and told journalists that angry relatives of the slain victims and other local people killed the three outlaws.

They expressed their ignorance about the missing bodies. "I don't know what the agitated people have done to them," a JMJB leader said.

[Edited on 21-5-2004 by rassel]