Police couldn't 'make time' to inquire about armed Jubo League leader

Awlad Hossain with firearm at Pallabi on Tuesday.
Prothom Alo

The police could not make time to look into the Jubo League leader who was spotted with a firearm while trying to disperse a group of protesting garment workers at Mirpur in Dhaka on Tuesday.

He is Awlad Hossain, cultural affairs secretary of the pro-government youth organisation's Dhaka city (north) unit.

Asked about the updates, Mahfuzur Rahman, officer-in-charge of the Pallabi police station, said, "How we would inquire (about him) when we do not have enough time for tackling the (workers') movement."

Awlad Hossain was seen carrying a firearm while trying to disperse the protesting garment factory workers at Pallabi of Mirpur

According to witnesses, Awlad fired shots at the protesting readymade garment (RMG) workers, but it is not clear whether any of the workers was shot in his firing.

Contacted, Awlad Hossain said he was not present at the spot and was, in fact, at his office during the incident.

He, however, admitted that he has a firearm with due licence. But he cannot bring out the weapon in public this way, he added. 

The incident took place in front of the Apollo Knitwear factory in the area at around 11:00 am on Tuesday. The agitating workers blocked the main road all-day and staged demonstrations demanding a salary hike. 

Locals said Awlad Hossain is an influential person of the area and controls the business of fabric waste, familiar as Jhut, in the textile industry. 

Ismail Hossain, general secretary of Dhaka north Jubo League, confirmed Awlad Hossain’s designation as the cultural affairs secretary in the city committee.

However, he claimed that Awlad does not take part in any of the political programmes. “He has been rendered inactive as he is a criminal and evil soul. He harbours cadre-based politics.” 

A number of witnesses said the Jubo League leader fired several rounds of bullets during the RMG workers’ demonstration. 

The RMG workers began their demonstration programme at Pallabi in the morning, blocking the important city road. At one stage, a group of miscreants carried out an attack and tried to disperse them, which was ensued by chase and counter chases between the two sides.