HuJI leader remanded in custody for seven days
Last Updated: Friday, April 29, 2011, 12:56
Dhaka: A court here on Thursday remanded banned Harkatul Jihad Al Islami (HuJI) leader Sheikh Mohammad Farid in custody for seven days for interrogation in connection with a grenade attack on an Awami League rally in 2004.

Metropolitan Magistrate Keshab Ray Chowdhury granted police seven days time to quiz Farid against a prayer for 10 days.

The 47-year-old "most wanted" militant was arrested by elite anti-crime Rapid Action Battalion from the capital's suburbs of Tongi yesterday.

Farid, who was steering the banned outfit for the past two years, is also faced with three other cases which are 1999 attack on an Udichi concert in Jessore, 2000 Kotalipara bomb implant case, 2001 attack on a Baishakhi festival at Ramna Batmul.

Prosecution lawyers told the court that he was a crucial suspect of the grenade attack as the earlier detained former HuJI chief Mufty Abdul Hannan had told the investigators that Farid had a vital role in the 2004 grenade attack, narrowly escaped by incumbent Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina but suffered a permanent partial hearing impairment.

A number of politically influential people including former junior minister for home Lutfuzzaman Babar and two former army generals who subsequently headed the apex National Security Intelligence (NSI) during the past Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP)-led four-party coalition government, were also in suspect list in the case as they already are in jail.

At least 24 people including the then chief of the women wing of Awami League and wife of President Zuillur Rahman, Begum Ivy Rahman were killed and over 300 others injured as the suspected militants carried the out the attack.

Farid appeared for a brief camera session before the media yesterday at a press briefing when RAB spokesman said during initial interrogations, he said was personally familiar with al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

He had joined the resistance against the then Soviet occupation in Afghanistan in late 1980s and the armed warfare against the Burmese junta siding with the extreme righting factions of Rohingya outfits in mid 1990s.

The US in 2008 designated HuJI as a "foreign terrorist organisation" and "specially designated global terrorist".

Bureau Report

First Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 12:56

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