Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Bangladesh: Attacker of Ahmadiyya Imam claims he's no link to any group


Syed Nurul Islam, superintendent of Mymensingh police, told reporters that a group of people who has grudge against the Ahmadiyya community might have carried out the attack.

Ahmadiyya Imam Mostafizur Rahman
Times of Ahmad | News Watch | UK Desk
Source/Credit: The Daily Star
By The Daily Star | May 10, 2017

The arrested attacker of the Mymensingh Ahmadiyya mosque imam yesterday claimed the attackers had no link with any political party and that no party or organisation helped them in carrying out the attack.

Arrestee Abdul Ahad Mohammadullah, 20, was talking to reporters at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital where he was undergoing treatment.

Hailing from Charia village in Netrakona's Kalmakanda upazila, Ahad is a student of Sunnah Jamia Jaforia Madrasa in Ishwarganj of Mymensingh. He was caught by locals moments after he hacked the imam, Mustafizur Rahman, on Monday night.

Two of his classmates -- Johirul Islam and Elias Uddin -- were with him, he told police during a preliminary interrogation.

Johirul and Elias are from Majhiakandi and Ashrabpur villages in Ishwarganj upazila.

The trio, students of an HSC equivalent course, were expelled from the madrasa following the incident, said its Vice-Principal Mufti Nazim Uddin.

Meanwhile, police early yesterday detained Ahad's wife and two brothers from his Netrakona village, said Abu Bakar Siddique, officer-in-charge of Kalmakanda Police Station.

His wife Joshnara Begum and brothers Ainuddin and Mainuddin were handed over to Mymensingh Detective Branch of police.

Police were yet to ascertain the motive and identify the people behind the attack.

Syed Nurul Islam, superintendent of Mymensingh police, told reporters that a group of people who has grudge against the Ahmadiyya community might have carried out the attack.

The badly wounded imam was first taken to Mymensingh Medical College Hospital. He was shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) early yesterday.

With four major stab injuries in his neck, head, back and abdomen and some minor stabs, Mustafizur underwent a six-hour surgery, DMCH doctors said.

He gained consciousness in the evening. Doctors said they couldn't say anything about his condition until 24 hours passed after his surgery.

Mohammad Solaiman, a central leader of Ahmadiyyaa Muslim Jamaat Bangladesh, said a group of five to six devotees went to the mosque around two weeks ago to meet Mustafizur and know about Ahmadiyya doctrine.

Since then, they visited the mosque quite frequently, he said.

As three men came to Mustafizur's quarter adjoining the mosque after the Esha azan on Monday, the imam thought the same group of people went to meet him.

“He took them inside the mosque. It was dark inside. As he was about to switch on the light, one of them hacked him from behind,” said Solaiman.

The imam rushed out of the mosque screaming, but the attackers followed him and stared hacking the 32-year-old indiscriminately on the mosque yard in the dark, he added.

Hearing screams, some of his neighbours thronged the yard and found two people were lying on the ground, groaning, the Ahmadiyya leader said.

One of the attackers suffered injuries when his fellow attackers were hacking the imam, he said quoting Mustafizur as saying to his attendants on way to Dhaka from Mymensingh.

Locals suspected that the other injured was one of the attackers. They tied him with a rope and handed him over to police.

Solaiman said the attack sparked panic among Ahmadiyya devotees across the country. There are more than 150 mosques of the Ahmadiyyaa community in the country, he added.

No case was filed in connection with the incident until last night.

In a statement, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat Bangladesh said those who had attacked the community previously might have carried out the Monday's attack.

They demanded the law enforcers identify the attackers and their patrons and bring them to book.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Forum Bangladesh, a platform of 19 organisations, yesterday in a statement expressed deep concern over the incident.

It demanded the government ensures exemplary punishment to the culprits and ensure security of the Ahmadiyya community members.

Our Mymensingh correspondent contributed to the report.


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