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Bangladesh arrests Hifazat leader Mamunul Haque, known for hate speech and aggression

Bangladesh arrests Hifazat leader Mamunul Haque known for hate speech and aggression

Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 18 April: Hifazat-e Islam leader Mamunul Haque has been detained from a Dhaka madrasa in a case that involves his role in violence.

Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Detective Branch, confirmed the arrest on Sunday. He was brought to the Tejgaon Deputy Police Commissioner’s offices.

The hardline Islamist leader was arrested in a case filed with Mohammadpur Police Station in 2020, according to the police.

Mamunul, joint secretary general of the radical group, is known for his hate speech and aggressive sermons in religious congregations and on social media, enjoying popularity among hardliners.

Earlier this month, the man gained unsavoury reputation after he was caught at a resort in Narayanganj’s Sonargaon with a woman who he claimed was his second wife. His claim was later disputed by the authorities.

In November 2020, Mamunul called for the government to remove the upcoming statue of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, claiming statues were contradictory to Islam. Later, he clarified that he did not mean to disrespect Bangabandhu.

Mamunul and his party colleagues led a series of protests against the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in March, unleashing violence in parts of Bangladesh.

At a news conference following the arrest, Deputy Police Commissioner Harun-or-Rashid said that Mamunul and other Hefazat leaders had been accused in several cases, including planned attacks on police and police stations and vandalism. These cases are being investigated.

The police official said Mamunul had been monitored for quite some time and the investigation into the 2020 case of vandalism and violence was ongoing.

His arrest was made after police obtained clear evidence of his involvement, he added.

Mamunul had admitted to his involvement in the attack during an initial questioning, he said in response to a question.

The Hefazat leader would be brought before a court on Monday and senior members of the administration would be consulted before a decision to request remand was made, Harun-or-Rashid said.

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