The Detective Branch (DB) of Police yesterday said they had arrested the prime instigator behind the murder of religious television personality and ranking official of Ahle Sunnat Wal Jamaat, Shaikh Nurul Islam Faruqi.
“DB officials arrested Mozaffor Bin Mohosin, 35, from the al-Amin mosque compound in the capital’s Mohammadpur area on Saturday night,” Monirul Islam, DB joint commissioner, told that.
Mozaffor, a regular speaker at madrasas and mosques with a following among militant minded listeners, is quoted as saying: “Faruqi is working against Shariah and I want punishment for this person, for the sake of Allah, someone do something about this person.”
Footage of the speech was uploaded to several websites affiliated with militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, Monirul yesterday said at his office in the capital’s Minto Road area.
Mozaffor was one of the prime spiritual leaders of the Ansarullah Bangla Team and has become hugely popular in the militant community after the arrest of previous Ansarullah chief Rahmani, joint commissioner Monirul said.
Monirul said Mozaffor used to give speeches as a panel speaker of Peace TV. A native of Rajshahi district, Mozaffor completed his post-graduation degree from Rajshahi University. He passed the Dakhil and Alim qualifications [equivalent to SSC and HSC], and then took a Fazil [equivalent to BA pass course] and Dawra Hadith, a two-year course specialising in the hadith.
“We suspected the involvement of an extremist group behind Faruqi’s murder and felt we had a breakthrough in the murder investigation after seeing the uploaded video of a speech by Mozaffor,” Monirul said.
The joint commissioner said: “During his interrogation, Mozaffor denied direct involvement in the murder but said a number of people came to visit his mosque and madrasa to hear his speech.”
“Besides the al-Madina madrasa of Mohammadpur, Mozaffor visited madrasas and mosques in Rupganj and Narayanganj. He worked as an Ansarullah recruiter and encouraged madrasa students and members of his audience to support the group’s extremist agenda, according to the DB joint commissioner.
“We have collected a number of video and audio recordings of speeches given by Mozaffor which were uploaded to websites of the Ansarullah community and we are working to track down those who put them up, distributed them and watched them,” said the DB joint commissioner.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mohammad Tarique Moinul Islam Bhuiyan yesterday passed an order placing Mozaffar on two days’ remand after DB police inspector and investigation officer (IO) of the Faruqi murder case, Julhas Uddin Akand, produced him before the court.
On August 27, unidentified assailants slaughtered Faruqi, a religious TV personality, businessman and imam of the Supreme Court mosque, at his home in Dhaka’s Purbo Rajabazar area. He was a presidium member and international affairs secretary of Ahle Sunnat.
On September 4, a case was filed against six Islamic TV programme presenters on charges of killing Faruqi. Emran Husain Tushar, Dhaka city unit general secretary of Islami Chhatra Sena, the student wing of the Bangladesh Islami Front, filed the case with the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s Court of Dhaka.
The accused are NTV Islamic programme presenter Tarek Munawar, ATN Bangla presenter Arakanullah Haruni and Kamaluddin Jafree, RTV and Radio Today presenter Khalid Saifullah Bakshi, Diganta TV and Peace TV anchor Kazi Ibrahim, and Bangla Vision’s Mokhtar Ahmed.
Of the accused Tarek Munawar is a cadre of Jamaat-e-Islami Bangladesh while Kamaluddin Jafree is the former ameer of the Narsingdi district Jamaat-e-Islami.
Faruqi’s son Faisal filed a separate murder case with Sher-e-Bangla Nagar police station against eight to nine unnamed persons soon after the murder took place on August 27.