Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid, social welfare minister Syed Mohsin, ex-minister and MP Shuronjit Sen Gupta are just some of the names that have received death threats via a 19 man shortlist, published on an online newspaper yesterday. The list was telegraphed by a group who call themselves the ‘Ittehadul Mujahedin’. The list, computer composed no less, bore blogger Niladri Chatterjee’s name right at the top, but a red line has been used to strike it out. Niladri was murdered last Friday in her own house based in Goran, in the capital. Apart from that the list also features the names of various university lecturers, prominent bloggers and members of the Bengali cultural community, and members of the Gonojagoron Moncho.
After Niladri Chatterjee the names on the list are in the following sequence,
blogger Arif Jebotik, Shushanto Dasgupta, professor of science and technology at Shahjalal University Zafar Iqbal, sculptor Ferdousi Priyobhashini, Abdur Rahman, Education Minister Nurul Islam Nahid, Social Welfare Minister Syed Mohsin Ali. Maqbul Hasan of Udichi Shilpogoshthi and ex-minister Shuronjit Sen Gupta are also included. After that, there is blogger Arifur Rahman, Omi Rahman Piyal, Onnonno Azad son of Humayun Azad, an organizer for the Gonojagoron Moncho Mahmudul Haque Munshi Badhan, Maruf Rusul, university lecturer Arafat Rahman, blogger Nirjhor Majumder, Dr Atik, Ashfaque Anup, and the name of Nur Nabi Dulal. After the list of names, the following message was written –
“Death will surely come for you my friend, if not today then tomorrow/ we shall take lives of the enemies of God for God/do you not weep when the prophet is insulted!/ what is your identity?/death will surely come for you my friend…/ take the lives of the Zalim (cruel)”.
Those who’ve been threatened in the letter have been branded as the enemies of ‘Islam and madrasa education’, atheists, antipathic towards Sylhet, the scourge of Sylhet, Satanic bloggers, pimps of Hindustan and Munafiks in disguise as Muslims etc. The criminal correspondent for bdnews24.com, Mr Golam Muztoba Drubo informed the Daily Somokal that, they received the letter at their headquarters, sometime in the afternoon yesterday. Upon receiving it and opening it up to find out that it is a death threat made out to a list of 19 men, they immediately notified and handed out a copy of it to the police. Social media commissioner for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Mr Muntasirul Islam confirmed that they have received the ‘death threat letter’, but said that they are still in the process of investigating who is involved with this.
This telegraphed list had ‘bdnews.24.com’ as its recipient, but no clues were found on it as to where it was sent from. But 3.00 BDT stamps that were attached to it revealed that it was dispatched on the 10th of August from Sylhet post office. These telegraphed death threats have been seen before. On such instances, people like the Prime Minister’s advisor, various ministers, university lecturers, journalist and many free-thinking individuals have been targeted. Now while the ‘Ansarullah Bangla Team’ has claimed responsibility for sending thee until now, this is the first time a group called ‘Ittehadul Mujahidin’ has done such a thing. The law enforcement authority doesn’t have much information about this group.
Our investigation revealed that as soon as the people demanded that the reforms of 1972 be re-introduced, as soon as the trial procedures to condemn those responsible for the deaths of 3 million people in 1971 went underway, and as soon as people started being a bit more liberate and free-thinking, the ghosts of those defeated in 1971 decided to come back and haunt them again. The grisly murders of Washiqur Babu, Ananta Bijoy Das and Niladri Nil, was followed by a list of 19 men and women all either academics, bloggers, tutors, even ministers and journalists and all of whom, have been threatened to be killed. The group calling themselves ‘Ittehadul Mujahidin’ have claimed to be the ones who released that list. Now although the list published before that mainly contained the names of members of the Gonojagoron Moncho and those affiliated with or the supporter of the on-going war crime trials, the names of those steeped deep in Bengali culture and not to mention those free-thinking souls are now being targeted as well in addition. When we contacted them, the police informed us that they learned of the incident from the newspapers and are taking appropriate measures. A portion of the list targets those who live outside Bangladesh, so it wasn’t possible to find out what their reactions were. We tried to contact the education minister regarding this incident, but his assistant informed us that he was busy. Upon contacting the social welfare minister of state, Mr Mohsin Ali, we were told that he is a freedom fighter and he doesn’t entertain empty threats. He also offered that, he’ll help try and rehabilitate these misguided terrorists to try and bring stability into their lives, and we should help as well. Dr Zafar Iqbal meanwhile said that he has received so many death threats by now, that he is incapable of differentiating anymore between moments when has to be in fear and when he doesn’t have to be. The general secretary of the ‘Udichi Shilpi Goshthi’ in Moulovibazaar, Mr Makbul Hasan informed us that he’d already notified the police of this incident. Our Sylhet Polytechnic correspondent informed us that blogger & radio presenter Abdur Rahman, who’d studied in Sylhet Polytechnic and he said, he doesn’t entertain such threat and he thinks those behind such dangerous activity need to be enlightened and only reformation in Islam, Islamic society will eradicate such extremism .
Our correspondent tried to reach the named persons on the list and till now we haven’t received any reply from them.
We wish not to publish the picture of the individual from the hit list due to security or consent issue whom we couldn’t reach.