Over one third of 2005 series blast cases await disposal

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DHAKA, Aug 17, 2017 (BSS) – Over one third of the cases related to 2005 nationwide series blasts staged by outlawed JMB still await disposal while the outfit of late emerged with a reconstituted structure called Neo-JMB on the face of an intensified anti-militancy campaign.

Talking to BSS coinciding with the 12th anniversary of the event police’s inspector general (IGP) AKM Shahidul Haque said 56 out of 159 cases filed to expose to justice the blast perpetrators were under still under trail while the rests were disposed of in different trial courts.

“Trial in the rest 93 cases has by now been disposed by the trial courts which handed down 334 perpetrators to different jail terms . . . in the ongoing 56 cases 400 JMB operatives are being tried,” he said.

Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) staged the synchronized nationwide near simultaneous explosions at 500 points in 63 out of 64 administrative districts except Munshiganj to make visible their strong presence on August 17, 2005.

In the capital Dhaka, JMB on that day exploded 17 bombs while public prosecutor Advocate Abdullah Abu of Dhaka Metropolitan said 18 cases were lodged with different police stations in connections of these blasts and trial in four of cases was completed and five others are under trial as final reports were given in the rest of nine cases.

The nationwide August 17, 2005 blasts had killed only two people and wounded 50 others as the militants at that time preferred not to use stronger devices but in subsequent period they showed up with their brutal face carrying out deadly attacks on innocent people including judges.

The police chief said the main law enforcement agency submitted 149 charge sheets against 1106 JMB operatives in 149 cases and gave final report in 10 other cases relating to the cross-country bombings.

Haque said several JMB kingpins, however, were by now executed after trial in several cases of deadly militant attacks in subsequent years while several of them were on the run with death sentences to evade gallows.

“A total of 27 operatives accused in the August 17, 2005 bombing have already been handed down death penalty in other militant cases and eight of them were hanged in execution of their death sentences,” the IGP added.

He said with the execution of JMB founder Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his- second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, think-tanks Abdul Awal, Khaled Saifullah and Salahuddin “JMB’s organizational activities suffered a huge setback execution of their death sentences”.

The six were hanged on March 30 in 2007 in the case of killings of two judges in Jhalokathi district.

A Bangladeshi origin Canadian Tamim Chowdhury reorganised the JMB in 2013 with a new banner called neo-JMB which carried out the July 1, 2016 attack on the Dhaka’s Holey Artisan Restaurant killing 22 people including 17 foreigners and two police officers.

The IGP, however, said police subsequently frustrated several of their attempts to destabilize the country launching a massive anti-militancy campaign adopting a two thronged approach.

“We, on one hand is collecting intelligence about the militant hideouts and conducting raid and on the other hand trying to form public opinion against the militancy,” he said.

Asked about the differences between the JMB and neo-JMB, he also said the reconstituted neo-JMB operatives were more expert in producing bombs compared to JMB.

“The neo-JMB men are using social-media like the IS (Islamic State) to give training. Neo-JMB operatives are more violent than that of the JMB,” Haque.

But he said the anti-militancy campaign neutralized many of their bomb experts in different raids.

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