Rohingya rally

Al-Markazul Islami helped to organise

The government is going to take stern actions against some influential persons and NGO officials following evidences of provoking Rohingyas for holding illegal rally in Cox’s Bazar. A confidential report has found ‘evidences’ of instigating some NGO officials and a local police officer for secretly assisting the Rohingyas in holding the grand rally on August 25, without taking permission.

Some of these NGOs are local and some of them are foreign-funded. Among the NGOs, one of them particularly noteworthy - Al-Markazul Islami - for its alleged links with global terrorist organisations. It is learnt that Mufti Shahidul Islam, founder of the Al- Markazul Islami, was believed to have links with some global Islamist terrorist organizations.

He was a pioneer in terrorist attacks in the country and was reported to have close links with Al-Qaeda, including its slain founder Osama bin Laden. Shahidul was arrested in 1999 during the AL rule for his involvement in bomb attacks on an Ahmadiya mosque in Khulna that killed eight people and injured scores more.

After getting release on bail, he later left the country and reportedly roamed around in Afghanistan, Pakistan and some African countries, which were once strong hold of al-Qaeda. He also allegedly got Al-Qaeda training in bomb making. Some leading arrested leaders of the banned Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) also mentioned his name as their patron.

Al-Markazul Islami, was reportedly founded on suggestions of the Al-Qaeda. It allegedly promoted terrorism in Bangladesh under the guise of helping people. The confidential report has identified some persons, who were directly and indirectly involved in providing secret assistance for holding the procession organised by Rohingyas without obtaining formal permission.

According to the government sources, local administration has already sent the report to the NGO Bureau, which is under the Prime Minister Office. The probe report was signed by Cox's Bazar deputy commissioner Md Kamal Hossain. The report mentioned the names of the identified instigators who had allegedly influenced the Rohingyas for holding such a large procession marking the second anniversary of Rohingya ‘genocide’ by Myanmar military forces.

Names of some local NGOs, influential lawyers, college lecturers and a junior police officer were also mentioned along with the leading Rohingya community leaders. Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights (ARSPH) President Md Mohibullah, Vice-President Master Abdur Rahim, General Secretary and Ukhiya Degree College lecturer Nurul Masud Bhuyian, Adviser who is a lawyer of Bangladesh Supreme Court Dulal Mallick, Rajshahi University researcher Dr Faridul Alam, and Maolana Yusuf, Cox's Bazar District Judge Court Prosecutor Advocate Mahbubur Rahman and District Anti-Corruption Commission's Public Prosecutor Md Abdur Rahaim and Cox's Bazar Rohingya Camp's Assistant Sub-Inspector Borhan Uddin, among others, have been named in report as provoking the Rohingya communities and helping to hold the grand rally.

Earlier, some opportunists in association with Rohingya people formed two organizations-- Voice of Rohingya and Rohingya Refugee Committee (RRC). They later organized the procession without getting necessary approval from the government. Voice of Rohingya or VR made 700 T-shirts and 28 banners, which were printed from Nishat Printers and Media Printers, located at the Majid Market in Ukhiya Upazila. RRC also printed 100 t-shirts from Shah Majadia Printers situated at Bazarghata area of the district.

Besides, ARSPH, Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) and Al Markazul Islami also supplied T-shirts for the Rohingya protestors. According to report, on August 19 and August 21, a local NGO named ADRA held secret meetings at the Shalik Restaurant which is situated at Kolatoli area of the district. In the meeting, the organizers donated Tk 2 lakh and fifty thousand to Rohingya leader Mohibullah. Al Makazul Islami also provided financial assistance for making T-shirts for Rohingyas.

Later on August 25, the big procession was organized at Modhurchora Extension-4 Rohingya camp at Kutubpalong area. Many other processions were also organized at different camps including at the playground of D-Block.

RRC chairman Sirajul Mostofa and his close associates had provided Tk 25 thousands for making the rally successful. RRC General Secretary Saiful Hoque separately collected huge amount of funds from his various relatives who are currently staying in abroad. Among them, one Nurul Islam, who stays in London, had donated Tk 2 lakh for constructing office of RRC around six months ago.

RRC has 25 member core committee. Motorbike of ASI Borhan Uddin was also used for making t-shirts for the procession. According to the report, though many organizations are working in the Rohingya camps, the organization of Muhibullah--- ARSPH is most powerful.

There are 300 active members in ARSPH. Nurul Masud Bhuyian, who is general secretary, is the son of one Abdul Karim Bhuyian, hailing from Ukhiya Sikderpara. He is also a teacher in the Ukhiya Degree College. As a general secretary of Peace Way Human Rights Society, he attended the meeting. His family members originally came to Bangladesh from Myanmar.

This organization has seven members advisory committee. A meeting was held between US Ambassador in Bangladesh Earl R Miller and Mohibullah. After then, he got a chance to meet US President Donald Trump. Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner, Md Kamal Hossain said, "A move is underway to take action against those involved were involved in organising the grand rally on August 25."

He said, “Six NGOs have already been identified.” He added saying that the government is taking action against those whose names appeared in the probe report. About allegation against him, ACC PP Md Abdur Rahim told a local journalist, "I am a lawyer. I remain busy with cases in the court. I do not understand how I helped Rohingyas."

About the allegation of using the motorbike of ASI Borhan Uddin, superintendent of police (SP) of Cox’s Bazar, ABM Masud Hossain on Wednesday, however said, “The report is totally false.”

He asked, “Does any ASI has any commanding power?” When this correspondent drew his ( SP’s) attention on the specific issue of the probe report which allegedly blamed ASI Borhan for allowing use of his motorbike in making T-shirts for Rohingya activists, the district police boss said again said, “The report is completely baseless.” He however, admitted that he yet to see the report, which was signed by Cox's Bazar deputy commissioner Md Kamal Hossain.