Saturday, September 21, 2019

33 suspected militants from Hamza Brigade to stand trial in Chattogram

  • Chattogram Bureau, bdnews24.com
    Published: 2019-08-20 22:10:31 BdST

A Chattogram court has framed charges against 33 people, including the leader of militant outfit Shaheed Hamza Brigade's leader Moniruzzaman Don and 'financer' lawyer Shakila Farzana, in two cases under the Anti Terrorism Act.

Anti Terrorism Tribunal Judge Abdul Halim passed the order on Tuesday to iniate the trial proceedings three and a half years after the filing of the chargesheet.

The court also issued an arrest warrant for Shakila, who did not attend the hearing.

Barrister Shakila is the joint secretary of the pro-BNP Nationalist Lawyers Forum and the daughter of the late BNP leader Wahidul Alam.

"The court ordered the framing of charges against the 33 accused in the case with the Hathazari Police Station and the 28 accused with Bashkhali Police Station. The 28 people accused in the Bashkhali case are also charged in the Hathazari case," said Monoranjan Das, lawyer for the state at the tribunal, told bdnews24.com.

But he could not confirm when witness testimonies will be recorded in the case.

On the absence of Shakila from court, her lawyer Abdus Sattar said, "She is currently abroad for treatment. We applied for a time extension but the court rejected the plea and issued an arrest warrant."

"During the hearing, we told the court that as a lawyer, she took the legal fees from her client in good faith. She is not involved in the matter. She returned the money through a bank account."

RAB had arrested 12 suspected militants from Hathazari on Feb 19, 2015. After two days, a militant camp set up at Banshkhali hills was found and five more were arrested based on the information they provided.

Later, RAB found a huge amount of explosives inside a house at Halishahar Bashundhara Residential Area on Feb 28, 2015.

RAB officials subsequently came to know about the involvement of new terror outfit Hamza Brigade in all three incidents after they arrested four and recovered five rifles in multiple raids at the port city in April of that year.

The raid on the house found 76 bombs, 28 rounds of ammunition, pipes for making pipe bombs and empty water flasks.

There were also raw ingredients for bombs – 50 kilograms of aluminum dust, 35 kilograms of potassium chloride, 10 kilograms of sulfur, eight kilograms of sodium amide, five litres of nitrobenzene, four kilograms of arsenic disulfide, 2,800 grams of ammonium nitrate and two kilograms of charcoal.

RAB personnel also found 68 pairs of jungle boots, 97 pairs of training shoes, 96 pairs of nylon belts and 185 pairs of socks.

After the explosives were recovered, RAB-7 Assistant Director MG Rabbani initiated a case under the Anti Terrorism Act at Halishahar Police Station.

The case was first handed to police but RAB was put in charge of its investigation within a few days. The elite force believes ‘Allama Libadi’, a resident from Dubai, has been funding the Hamza Brigade.