Sohel Rana of the village Shilashi in Gafargaon, Mymensingh, was killed by members of neo-JMB, according to the Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit (CTTC). They have confirmed that four members of the outfit, arrested on Thursday, were involved in the killing. However, the families of the arrested young men say they were picked up 25 days ago from the area before the police declared them arrested.
CTTC gave the information about the killing after a report appeared in Prothom Alo on Monday, revealing Sohel’s identity. SITE Intelligence Group, the organisation that tracks online activities of militant groups worldwide, on 16 August published two photographs. The caption read, ‘IS documents execution of practitioner of witchcraft in north of Bangladeshi capital.’
Deputy commissioner of CTTC, Saiful Islam, speaking to Prothom Alo on Monday, said they had so far confirmed that the four members of neo-JMB arrested on Thursday from Azampur in Uttara of the capital city, had killed Sohel. They have not found Sohel’s dead body as yet and the search was on. The four arrested persons were also involved in the Paltan blast and had been shown arrested in that connection.
The arrested persons are Mamun Al Mujahid alias Sumon alias Abu Abdur Rahman, Md Al Amin alias Abu Ziad, Md Mujahidul Islam alias Rokon alias Abu Tarik and Sarwar Hossain Rahat. Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s media and public relations division announced their arrest in a press release on Friday.
The press release did not give details of the arrested persons’ identities. However, inquiries revealed that one of the arrested, Mamun Al Mujahid alias Sumon, was from the village Pathantek of Sripur. The others came from neighbouring villages Boronal and Borokul. All three of these villages are in the Barmirbazar area where Sohel would live before he went missing. He would sell tabiz and talismans, rings and bracelets.
Law enforcement agencies have continually denied Islamic State (IS) activities in Bangladesh. CTTC has said that it was the local militant outfit neo-JMB that carried out the attacks and killings that earlier were claimed to have been done by IS.
Mamun Al Mujahid alias Sumon’s father Sheikh Mosleh Uddin Ahmed, speaking to Prothom Alo on Monday, said that the CTTC statement about the four persons including his son being arrested from Uttara in Dhaka on Thursday, was not true. All four of them had been picked up from their homes, or homes of relatives, on the night of 17 August. He said over a hundred persons wearing Detective Branch jackets and police uniform had come up in 20 to 25 vehicles.
Sumon’s brother Sheikh Selim Al Azad said they are being shown arrested 25 days after they were picked up. This is not believable or acceptable in any way.
Concerning these allegations made by the families, CTTC deputy commissioner Saiful Islam said they know nothing about the matter. They had arrested all four from Azampur in Uttara.
The law enforcement agencies have continually denied Islamic State (IS) activities in Bangladesh. CTTC has said that it was the local militant outfit neo-JMB that carried out the attacks and killings that earlier were claimed to have been done by IS.