Islami Chattra Shibir: A memoir

পৃথ্বী's picture
Submitted by Prithvi [Guest] on Sun, 10/03/2013 - 11:04pm

There is this recent tendency to proclaim that Jamaat-e-Islam’s student wing Islami Chattra Shibir is no worse than BNP’s student wing Jatiyatabadi Chattra Dol and the ruling party Awami League’s student wing Bangladesh Chattra League. While superficially rational, this comparison is actually based on a profound confusion and negligence of the facts. It is true that both Chattra Dol and Chattra League have shown violent tendencies whenever their parent party attained power; But these two organizations are, at their worst, a rambunctious pack of delinquents. Shibir, however, is in a completely different league. Shibir looks like a harmless political party with a religious mission on the outside, but its essence is more of a carefully trained paramilitary organization. It’s a sordid mixture of Hitler Youth and Gestapo with an Islamist flavour. Like Hitler Youth, it is engaged in indoctrinating young Muslims with Islamism(to be precise, with the teachings of Syed Abu Ala Maudoodi), proselytizing and training young recruits for armed jihad. Like the Gestapo, it neutralizes any threat to its cause. Comparing Shibir with Chattra Dol and Chattra League is like comparing delinquents who temporarily disrupt peace with a quasi-military organization which might permanently dissolve the State. Yes, violence too has its degrees and stratifications, and comparing petty crimes with crimes against humanity is nothing short of appropriating the former to downplay, and ultimately deny, the latter.

Without further ado, lets take a walk down the memory lane:-

Islami Chattra Shongho was the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islam during the Pakistan era and was directly involved in war crimes during the liberation war. In post-liberation Bangladesh, responding to changed circumstances, the organization changed its name to Islami Chattra Shibir. Their modus operandi remained the same though- they still worked on their victim with the intent of incapacitating them for life, making a statement and spreading fear in the process. This involved beating the victim with hammers, bricks, iron rods, or severing arteries with machetes and knives. For this reason, Shibir was a symbol of terror while the other two student organizations were considered mere nuisances.

1) Shibir made their first kill just 4 years after taking on the new alias. They stabbed Chattra League leader Tobarok Hossain to death on Chittagong City College campus in March of 1981. On 11th March of the same year, they assaulted Rajshahi University campus with 3 busloads of hitmen from Chapainawabganj, resulting in an immediate ban on the organization within the campus boundaries(though it was repealed later).

2) In 1984, Shibir hitmen tied the hands and legs of Student Union(a leftist organization) leader Shahadat Hossain like a sacrificial animal and slit his throat in room no. 15 of Suhrawardy Hall, Chittagong College.

3) On 1986, Shibir severed the wrist of Jatiya Chattra Shamaj leader Abdul Hamid and brought out a procession, with his severed wrist hanging from the head of a spear.

4) On 31st May 1988, they cut the arteries of Chattra Moitri leader Dr. Jamil Akhter right in front of the principal of Rajshahi Medical College, letting him bleed to death. In the same year, they slaughtered freedom fighter and Jatiya Shomajtantrik Dol(National Communist Party) leader Muhammad Jalal in front of his house at Chapainawabganj

5) In July, Shibir attacked and lethally injured Prince, General Secretary of Student Parliament of Syed Amir Ali Hall of Rajshahi University, and 20 more. In 17th July, they severed the arteries of Ayub Ali Khan(Vice President of Jatiya Shamajtantrik Dol Chattra League), Ahsanul Kabir Badal(general secretary) and Naushad( VP of SM Hall).

6) The playground of student politics in Sylhet was dominated by leftist organizations during anti-martial rule demonstrations of the ‘80s. To clear the ground for Islamist politics, Shibir started recruiting in Aliya Madrasa(Islamic religious school), virtually unopposed by the absence of any progressive political organzations in said institutions. On September 24 of 1988, Shibir hitmen from this same Madrasa invaded and captured the MC College campus, while activists of leftist parties waited outside and observed the circumstances. One such group at the Shahi Mosque area was suddenly surrounded by Shibir hitmen and brutally assaulted. Student leader Munir Kibria was mauled with sharp weapons and left to die beside the road, another leader Tapan Jyoti Deb was battered to death with stones. As news spread, agitated activists and common people surrounded the premises while the culprits exited the arean in a procession closely sheltered by the police. Later, hitmen from this same procession would chase a schoolchild named Enamul Haque Jewel across the rooftop of a market. As Jewel attempted to jump across to another building to escape the heavily armed Shibir hitmen, he fell to the ground and died at the spot. Jewel actively prevented Shibir’s indoctrination in the town’s schools, so he was blacklisted from the very beginning.

7) In August, Shibir bombed the house of Professor of Economics at Rajshahi University Dr. Muhammad Yunus.

8) In 1989, Shibir cut the hand and leg arteries of Rajshahi University Student Union leader Gazi Golam Mostafa

9) On 22nd December 1990, Shibir slit the throat of Chittagong University Chattra Moitri leader Farukuzzaman Faruk.

10) On 17th March 1992, Shibir’s feared Sirajus Salehin led a squad in Rajshahi University and slaughtered Ivy, Nirmal, Rousseau, Afu, Faruk of Jatiya Shamajtantrik Dol and cut off the wrist of Rajesh of Shamajtantrik Chattra Front. They also torched SM Hall, Anwar Hall and Latif Hall with gunpowder. The assault continued from 11pm to 3am.

11) On 19th June, Jatiya Shamajtantrik Dol leader Mukim was maimed in Zero point of Shaheb Bazar. He succumbed to death on 24th June.

12) On 6th February 1993, Shibir killed Chattra Dol leader Bishwajit, general student Notun and Student Union leader Tapan. That same year, Shibir killed son of Chittagong University Professor Dr. Enamul Haque and Chattra Dol leader Muhammad Musa.

13) Still in 1993, Shibir attacked Sher-e-Bangla Hall of Rajshahi University and slit the arteries of Chattra Moitri leader Jubayed Chawdhury Rimu.

14) In 1994, Shibir slit the arteries of Proddyut Chandra Roiti of the same organization.

15) On 13th February of 1995, Debashish Bhattacharjee Rupom of the same organization had his arteries slit.

16) On July of 1995, Shibir slit the arteries of Farhad, a central leader of Chattra Dol. Many more activists had their arteries slit in that same assault.

17) While trying to occupy Chittagong polytechnic in1997, Shibir injured Student Parliament Vice President Muhammad Jamir and General Secretary of Chattra Dol Fariduddin by gunfire, then killed them by slitting their arteries.

18) In 1997, Shibir terrorists humiliated Rajshahi University Professors Abdul Khalek and Habibur Rahman. They also attempted a bomb attack, but the professors managed to escape.

19) On 22nd August 1998, Shibir murdered Chittagong University Student Union leader Sanjay Talapatra.

20) In 2000, Shibir brushfired on 8 Chattra League activists in a microbus in Bahadderhaat of Chittagong.

21) In 2002, Shibir mauled Rajshahi University Shamajtantrik Chattra Front leader Sushanta Sinha with a hammer, powdering his bones. In 2004, Shibir terrorists attacked him again and broke his spine. They left him by the road, falsely believing him to be dead.

22) In 2004, Professor Yunus of Rajshahi University was gored to death. The murder was attempted twice previously in 1988 and 1998.Two Jamaat’ul Mujahideen(banned terrorist group) members were arrested, who were ex-Shibir activists.

23) On 26th September of the same year, Chattra Moitri leader Shamim Ahmed was murdered in Babuganj of Barishal.

24) On 10th December 2005, Shibir attempted to slit the arteries of Rajshahi Uni Chattra Union president S.M. Chandan, but failed due to public interference.

25) In 2006, Mahbub-e-Alam Saleheen led a squad against Rajshahi Uni Department of Geology Professor Abu Taher and killed him.

26) On 21st August 2006, Shibir publicly announced to murder renowned littérateur Professor Hasan Azizul Haque and drown his corpse in the Bay of Bengal for lecturing in a seminar entitled “Secularism and Education” in Rajshahi Uni.

27) On 8th February 2010, Shibir slit the arteries of Rajshahi Uni Chattra League activist Faruk and left him to rot in a manhole.

28) On 26th December 2003, police arrested Shibir terrorist Enamul Haque and Faridul Haque from Satkaniya, Chittagong and obtained one AK-47 from them. Shibir has been implicated in guns trade multiple times in Intelligence reports. Leader of Shibir’s “Yakub squad” Yakub was killed in an encounter with police on 7th April 2004. Feared terrorist Delwar aka “Azraeel” Delwar was killed in an encounter on 7th May 2005 in Hathazari, Chittagong. Leader of Shibir’s “Hazarika” squad Giasuddin Hazarika was killed on 2nd June in another encounter. On 13th February of the same year, leader of “Ahmaidya squad” Hossain Ahmed was killed in a crossfire with the elite force Rapid Action Battalion(RAB).

Apart from these: on 15th January 2005, 1 MBBL gun, 3 LG gun and 23 rounds of bullet were salvaged from 4 Shibir goons arrested from Godharpara of Chittagong. On 18th February, Shibir terrorist Gittu Nasir was arrested from Jatrabari of Dhaka and confessed to hiding an AK-47 in Hathazari. His second-in-command Dulaluddin aka Munna was arrested in that same year and yielded 1 AK-47.On 20th July 2005, Shibir terrorist Mahmudul Chawudhury was arrested from Pachlaish residential area of Chittagong, 1 AK-47 and 33 bullets were obtained. On 8th January 2006, 2 grenades were salvaged from the homes of Shibir leaders Abdullah and Mamun in Patharghata. On 15th December 2009, police searched three halls of Rajshahi University and arrested terrorist Hasmat Ali aka Liton, who yielded gunpowder and poisonous chemicals.

Shibir has also been involved with assaulting the minority Muslim sect Ahmadiya Muslim Jamaat. On 29th October 1992, they destroyed the Ahmadiya Mosque at Bakshibazar of Dhaka. That same year, they destroyed another Ahmadiya mosque in Rajshahi. In 1999, Shibir bombed the Khulna Ahmadiya Mosque. The attacks intensified as BNP-Jamaat coalition attained power in 2001. On 31st October 2003, an Imam(Islamic cleric who leads prayers) of Ahmadiya mosque at Bakanggacha was murdered by slitting his throat. On 21st November, the Ahmadiya Mosque at Nakhalpara was attacked. In 2004, Ahmadiya publications were banned by the then BNP-Jamaat government and mosques at Barguna, Patuakhali, Khulna and Chittagong were destroyed. The central Ahmadiya mosque in Dhaka was vandalized. In 2005, mosques were vandalized in Narayanganj, Brahmanbaria, Jamalpur, Bogura, Mymensingh and Dinajpur.

With the progress of the International Crimes Tribunal, Shibir is becoming increasingly desperate and wary of its impending doom. Not only are they now targeting activists of the Shahbag movement and witnesses(and their relatives) against Jamaat convicts in ICT, they’re also bringing out abrupt processions throughout the country and wreaking havoc on public property. But what's standing out the most in recent times is Shibir’s sustained attack on the police. There has been speculation that the only reason Shibir terrorists are so vehemently attacking the law enforcement members is to provoke a no-holds-barred reaction from the agitated police force and use this as evidence before the international media that the current government is subduing “opposition” parties in the name of trying war-criminals. If the history portrayed in this article is not proof enough that Islami Chattra Shibir is not just the student wing of another “opposition” party but the hit squad of the anti-democracy Islamist Jamaat-e-Islam, perhaps the following video of the assault on police forces will help.

It should be kept in mind that extending democratic privileges to forces that would destroy that very democracy the first chance they get will do no favour to a democracy, however strongly bolstered it may be. The State has every right to subdue menacing anti-state forces by whatever means necessary and democratic privileges should be reserved only for those organizations which recognize the people’s right to sovereignty. Just as how US will never allow Al-Qaeda to set up office in the hallowed space of Ground Zero in Manhattan, so we will always refuse to tolerate Jamaat-e-Islam and their sympathizers in the very land where they have shed an ocean of Bengali blood and Bengali tears.

We demand a ban on Jamaat-e-Islam and the economy sustaining this organization, and we want it done right now. Never again shall Bangladesh be Pakistan.

Reference - Weekly "Shaptahik 2000", December 12 2012

Further reference - Islami Chhatra Shibir on South Asia Terrorism Portal


রানা মেহের's picture

Very rich piece of work but cannot really refer it in twitter or anywere
as it does not contain much reference, source of news.
Can I request the writer to take care of this please?

আমার মাঝে এক মানবীর ধবল বসবাস
আমার সাথেই সেই মানবীর তুমুল সহবাস

পৃথ্বী's picture

I used the centrepiece of December 12 issue of Shaptahik 2000 as my reference, I have it scanned as well. I'm afraid I don't have scanned copies of the newspaper reports of those days, or their web-links(since most of the events listed here are quite old, I doubt if the online versions of these reports are even existent).

However, since the names and party affiliations of the victims have been clearly delineated and even the locations of the murders have been specified when available, I hope an investigative inquirer would be able check on these details and easily refute these accusations if indeed there is any scope of refutation.

Big Brother is watching you.

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