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5 'JMB men' arrested

13 October, 2015 12:59
5 'JMB men' arrested

Police yesterday claimed to have arrested five suspected members of banned militant outfit Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) in connection with the attack on Pastor Luke Sarkar in Pabna's Ishwardi upazila.

One of the arrestees, Rakibul Islam Rabbi, 25, was among the three motorbike riders who attempted to kill the pastor by slitting his throat with sharp weapons, law enforcers said.

Two others who took part in the attack on the pastor are Rakibul Islam Rakib, Pabna district commander of JMB, and Mohammad Shakil, Alamgir Kabir, superintendent of police in Pabna, said at a press briefing at his office yesterday.

The duo went into hiding after the attack on the pastor, the SP added.

The four other arrestees are Ziaur Rahman, 35, Shariful Islam Tulip, 22, Alim Pramanik, 36, and Amzad Hossain, 30.

Of them, SP Alamgir said, Tulip works as a diploma engineer at a private firm in Dhaka. Rabbi is a trader in Pabna town while Alim is his employee. Zia is an electrician and Amjad is a rickshaw-van puller.

Liton Kumar Saha, additional superintendent of police in Pabna, said police raided different areas in Pabna and Sirajganj's Ullapara upazila for the last few days and detained the five.

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SP Alamgir said the alleged JMB men held meetings regularly at the Government Edward College's playground. In such a meeting, they planned to kill the pastor as he is a leader of the Christian community.

On September 18, Rabbi along with Rakib, who masterminded the attack, and Shakil met the pastor at his Ishwardi house and talked about Christianity for about half an hour, he said.

They returned to Pabna town and held another meeting where they decided to kill Luke Sarkar, the SP added.

Luke Sarkar, 52, pastor of Faith Bible Church in Ishwardi upazila, was attacked by three unidentified people at his home on October 5. He, however, survived the attack with a few minor injuries.

He filed a case, accusing three unidentified people, with Ishwardi Police Station that night.

According to police sources, Rakib had been working to regroup the militant outfit in the district for the last one and a half years.

Their plan was to create violence in the country and carry out attacks on foreign nationals, sources said.

The five were shown arrested in two cases -- one filed by Luke Sarkar and the other filed under the Anti-Terrorism Act with Pabna Police Station.

On October 6, police arrested Obaidul Islam, an “Islami Chhatra Shibir” man, on suspicion of his involvement in the attack.

Meanwhile, Ishwardi Police Station's Officer-in-Charge Biman Kumar Das said Rabbi yesterday made confessional statement before the court of Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Rejaul Karim in Pabna.

The four others will be placed before a Pabna court for remand today, he added.

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