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3 JMB convicts snatched away

Militants attack prison van, kill cop near Trishal: One held over snatching

 Militants attack prison van, kill cop near Trishal: One held over snatching
photo by NN Photo

Three condemned convicts of banned militant outfit JMB were snatched by their associates from the prison van in Trishal area on Sunday (left- top). One of the attackers being caught (right-top): Body of a policeman killed during attack (Bottom).

By STAFF REPORTER
24th-Feb-2014       
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A large group of militants intercepted in filmy style, a prison van, opened fire on police, killing a constable, and snatched away three, including two death row activists of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB), in Trishal upazila of Mymensingh on Sunday morning.
The snatched condemned convicts are Salahuddin alias Salehin, JMB in-charge of Sylhet-Mymensingh region; Mohammad Rakib Hasan Russell alias Hafez Mahmud, Khulna divisional commander of JMB; and Jahidul Islam alias 'Boma' Mizan, an explosives expert of the outlawed group.
The three JMB activists were scheduled to be produced before a court in Mymensingh in connection with a sedition case filed on March 11, 2006.
The law enforcers picked up a person during a combing operation at Taktarchala in Tangail at 3:00pm. Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) Hasibul Alam suspects that he might be Rakib Hasan Russell, one of the three snatched JMB men.
The police official said Rakib confessed that the snatching was planned 15 days ago and two microbuses were bought to execute the plan.
Police arrested Rakib by setting up a check post as he was fleeing in a CNG-run auto-rickshaw after their microbus crashed into another three-wheeler, said Hasibul.
Police seized a black microbus (Dhaka Metro CHA-11-6048) in Shakhipur Upazila of Tangail, which was suspected to be involved with the snatching.
The police officials said a total of three vehicles, including the two, were engaged in the snatching.
Zakaria Hossain, 29, who is an active member of JMB was the driver of the microbus. He was detained with a pistol, five live bullets and 10 bombs around 11:00am, ASP said.  Zakaria was the mastermind behing the attack, he added.
Locals caught Zakaria, from Gomostapur upazila in Chapainawabganj, after his microbus crashed into a CNG-run auto-rickshaw during his attempt to avoid a police check post set up following the incident. The law enforcers also rounded up Nurul Islam Raihan, 35, of Alachpur of Muktagacha in Mymensingh, and Md Rasel, 30, of Kaliakoir upazila in Gazipur, said Mokhlesur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Shakhipur Police Station.
The deceased policeman, Atiqul Islam, was posted at Gazipur Police Station, reports our Mymensingh correspondent quoting local police control room.
The police officials said Salahuddin, Mizan and Russell were kept at three different jails in Kashimpur: Jail-1 and Jail-2 and High Security Jail respectively.
They were picked up between 8:30am to 9:00am, Jamil Ahmed, superintendent of the jail-1, he said.
When the prison van reached Signboard area in Trishal around 10:15am, around 25 to 30 miscreants coming in two microbuses intercepted the van.
"They first tried to intercept our prison van with a truck. As we removed it, there was a microbus," Subedar Habib, who was injured in the attack, told reporters at Mymensingh Medical College Hospital (MMCH).
At least 10/15 masked men jumped out from the microbus and opened fire on the prison van, said Habib. "A bullet pierced through the windshield and hit me in the abdomen," he added. The attackers blasted several bombs.
"They were firing bullets indiscriminately," said constable Sohel Rana, who was hit in the hand. Badly shot, constable Atiqul Islam died on the spot.
The miscreants took the key from the law enforcers, opened the door of the prison van and took away the three JMB convicts. The criminals left the scene in a microbus, said Firoz Talukder, officer-in-charge of Trishal Police Station. Injured Subedar Habib and constable Sohel Rana were rushed to MMCH.
Home ministry has formed a four-member probe committee with Nazim Uddain Chowdhury, additional secretary of the ministry, as its chief to investigate the incident.
The committee has been asked to submit its report in three-working days, sources at the home ministry said.
The committee will also investigate whether adequate security measures had been taken maintaining the jail code when the condemned prisoners were taken to Mymensingh from Gazipur Jail.
Inspector General of Police Hasan Mahmud Khandker on Sunday said they will investigate whether there was any negligence on the law enforcers' part in snatching of three condemned convicts of JMB members in Mymensingh.
 "As a professional, I don't think so. However, the matter will be investigated and action will be taken against those responsible after the inquiry," he said.

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