Militant nabbed from Gazipur leads to arms recovery in Bandarban hills

The police recover arms from hills in BandarbanCollected

The police arrested Abdur Rahim, 32, a key arms supplier for militant outfit Jamaatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, from the Gazipur area on Wednesday. As per his tip, they later conducted a drive at hills in Naikhongchhari of Bandarban and recovered a drum filled with arms and bomb equipment. 

Md. Asaduzzaman, additional commissioner and chief of the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) Unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP), briefed the media about the recovery on Friday. 

The CTTC chief said Abdur Rahim went into hiding during the anti-militancy drives at hills last year. 

A police team managed to arrest him on Wednesday and conducted a drive at Naikhongchhari along with him. They found a cache of arms and bomb-making materials buried in a drum in the hilly forest, he added.  

According to police, Abdur Rahim is accused in 12 separate cases at Ramu and Cox’s Bazar police stations, on charges of robbery, kidnapping, illegal arms possession, and environmental destruction.

Asked about the origin of the arms, Md. Asaduzzaman said they are working to find out the origin of the recovered arms and determine if there are any international connections. 

He also disclosed that the militant group used to provide training for preparing improvised explosive devices (IEDs) at its camps. They will grill Abdur Rahim to know if the militants have already supplied any bomb to anywhere. 

The police arrested Shamin Mahfuz, a mastermind of Jamaatul Ansar, on 23 June 2023. Earlier, they apprehended his associate, Yasin, and arms supplier, Kabir Ahammad, on 8 January. 

During interrogation, Shamin Mahfuz disclosed that they had a deal with separatist group Kuki-Chin National Front (KNF), for receiving arms and necessary training. 

Shamin Mahfuz  formed Jamaatul Ansar, under the cover of his works for newly converted Muslims. On his invitation, Kabir and Rahim joined the militant organisation and supplied arms to them. 

Abdur Rahim, locally known as ‘Rahimmya Dacoit’, went into hiding when the law enforcement agencies launched a joint drive against militants in the hills.