Dhaka, Nov 13 : Jamaat-e-Islam leads the Qawmi madrasas of Bangladesh with modern arms and militancy training from the very beginning, with financial support of the Middle East and ISI, an intelligence official said, adding that there were lots of proof and photos of militant activities published in the media.

On the condition of anonymity, the official told IANS that sometimes they had a conflict of power with late Ahmad Shafi, but their basics remained the same to follow the ISI.

Shafi, the head Bangladesh's largest "non-political Islamic group" Hefazat-e-Islam, died last month at the age of 103.

Even before his death, Jamaat leaders and members of were meeting regular at the Hathazari madrasa to decide on new Hefazat-e-Islam's leadership.

Jamaat leader Shamim Sayedee, son of Delwar Hossain Sayedee who was sentenced to life for committing crimes against humanity on 1971, included his followers in the madrasa in recent period.

Shamim also met Harun Izhar, who was arrested as an accused in the US Embassy of Dhaka attack, son of former chief of Hefazat Mufti Izhar-a close associate of Osama Bin Laden.

Another Jamat leader and Maulana Mamunul Haque and his associates of Jamaat are very active in Hathajari madrasa.

Hefazat's central organising secretary Azizul Haque Islamabadi has announced that a Hefazat conference will be held on Sundat atthe Darul Uloom Muinul Islam Hathazari madrasa on 10 a.m.

About 500 people, including district representatives from across the country, have been invited.

A 15-member Shura committee of senior scholars will elect the Amir and Secretary General of Hefazat.

Hefazat's Nayeb-e-Amir Mahibullah Babungari will preside over the council.

The conference will elect the top leaders's post Amir and secretary general of the organization.

At the recent conference, the top leaders of Jamaat-e-Islami are exposed now.

Son or followers of the late Shafi were not invited to the council to elect the new leadership of Hefazat-e-Islam. They allege that the council is being set up to implement the agenda of Jamaat.

Calling it an illegal council, Shafi's followers have said that the council has been called in, excluding the real leaders in custody. Those who have called the council have no legitimacy to do so.

According to sources, Jamaat and its student wing Shibir are trying to grab absolute power of Hefazat-e-Islam.

Originally, the organization was controlled from Chattagram, while Shafi was alive, but BNP-Jamaat leaders have tried to make it Dhaka-centric. Now the effort has been intensified.

Mahibullahh Babungari of Fatikchhari Babunagar Madrasa of Chattagram will preside over the conference. It is learned that the Jamaat-e-Islami leader resigned from the post of Nayeb-e-Amir of Hefazat in 2018 due to an internal dispute over the official recognition of the Qawmi Certificate and the reception given to the Prime Minister.

Mahibullah Babungari is the uncle of Junaid Babungari, the current secretary general of Hefazat.

It is learned that the 18-member council implementation committee formed under the leadership of Babungari, many of them are directly involved in with BNP-Jamaat.

Some of them are workers or leaders of Jamaat.

Hefazat's central organizing secretary Maulana Azizul Haque Islamabadi, Maulana Mir Idris, Maulana Zakaria Noman Faizi, Maulana Nasir Uddin Munir and Maulana Zafar Alam, who are known to be close to BNP-Jamaat, are holding regular secret meetings almost every day.

The process of getting the list approved by Babungari on the day of the council has also started.

Hefazat-e-Islam was formed in 2010, by some leaders of Jamaat. Hefazat financed by doctrinaire Islamists in Saudi Arabia, moved to save Jamaat Islam leaders from the judiciary process against the war criminals of 1971.

When Sheikh Hasina came to power for the second time in 2009, she took a more aggressive approach, going after the war criminals of 1971.

In particular, she set up a (domestic) International Crimes Tribunal to prosecute atrocities committed during the war. The tribunal has hanged the war criminals, against whom the crimes against humanity proved in the court.

Within years, Hefazat has been established as a pressure group comprising the teachers of several madrasas in Chittagong.

The formation was allegedly triggered by the 2009 "Women Development Policy" draft.

On May 5, 2013, rens of thousands of Islamists led by Hefazat had gathered in the city to call for stronger Islamic policies. The activists marched down at least six main roads as they headed for Motijheel.

The mob vandalised markets and set fire to bookshops where the Quran is sold. They also attacked the ruling party's political office, and the national mosque.

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