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Training among the Islamic Fanatics (Terrorists)

Training among the Islamic Fanatics (Terrorists)

Going on in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban Districts.

“Training Centers Built-up Centering Numerous Mosques and Madrasas in Uninhabited Hills”

(Rebel Activities in Greater Chittagong-1)

Report by Shaiful Alam and Abdul Kuddush Rana

The daily Pratom Alo


Hills in the both sides. There are green bushes around the hills, but there is no human habitation within half mile. Four tin shed huts are seen at the top of a hill. Only three or four benches appear in a hut among the fours. A signboard stands at the mouth of the hill. None can guess the presence of a madrasha, unless one sees this sign board.

Numberless madrashas were constructed at the bottom of uninhabited secluded hill, like the one at Ghonar para, walking some kilometers to the deep jungle through Narkel Bagan of Rajarkul Union under Ramu Thana. In many places, there are more than one madrasha built up in distance of only 50-100 yards. None of these is recognized by the government.

It was known, talking to the residents and students and the teachers of the concerned areas and madrashas that these madrashas were built up with foreign financing at the bottom of the hill, where ‘Jihadi Trainings’ runs in the name of religious education. Likewise physical trainings are being provided among the fanatics of the same mosques built up at the feet of various hills in Naikkyang Chari Thana under Bandarban hill district. The selected students from different kaomi madrashas of whole country including Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong districts, directed under the supervision of three kaomi madrshas of Chittagong, Patia and Hathazari, for trainings. Later, they are sent to the armed training centers of the Rohinga Islamic Revolutionary group for armed trainings. This news has recently been known visiting these two districts. The local police source also acknowledged the truth of this news.

By being physically present, no infrastructures for education were seen in most of these madrashas built up in the secluded hilly areas of the eight thanas of Cox’s Bazar district. These door and windowless madrashas have no chair and table. Yet, the teachers of every madrasha assert that they have at least two hundred students. These madrashas add ‘Jamea’ (equivalent to university) at the end of its names. In spite of these numerous madrashas and mosques built up in the isolated hilly areas, the local administration does not feel headache, though the local police officers see these doubtfully.

Known through investigation, religious education is taught by day time but armed trainings run at night in the madrashas built up in Ramu and Ukhia thanas (sub districts) and both sides of Naikkyang Chari road. Most of the students and teachers of these madrashas are illegal infiltrators of Myanmar, who have already collected documents concerning Bangladeshi citizenship. They built up these madrashas illegally in the waste lands occupied from the Forest Department, with the financial support of Islamic NGOs of various Islamic countries, without government permission. The officer-in-charge (OC) of Naikkyang Chari Thana Mr. Golam Faruk informed that, he did not have any direction to monitor these mosques and madrashas. He sees the outnumbering of these mosques and madrashas in the isolated areas, in a doubtful eye. He thinks this as occupation of hilly land and conspiracy of appropriation of money of the Islamic NGOs. The director of Naikkyang Chari Al Markajul Madrasha Mao Lana Kali mullah, of course, acknowledged the number of madrashas creates doubtfulness. He said, there are two reasons behind building up these mosques. Firstly, occupation of hilly land and secondly appropriation of money of some Islamic NGOs. He also added the leaders of Rohinga revolutionary organization RSO are constructing these mosques. Most of them are established in the society. The Imams of these mosques get their salary through various organizations. These organizations provide much donation previously. But now, they reduced trainings significantly due to propaganda against the terrorist activities throughout the world.

Gathering of Madrashas in Cox’s Bazaar District:

The director for education of “Chakmarkul Jamea Islamia”-Darul -Ulum Madrasha, Maolana informed – there are more than two thousand kaomi madrashas in Cox’s Bazaar district, which are directed under the supervision of “Darul Ulum Moinul Madrash”of Hathazari and “Al- Jamea-Al-Islamia Madrsha” of Patia.

Many local residents including businessman Badiul Alam of Thoaingakata area of Khunia Palong under Ramu Thana, frankly admitted, there are five madrashas both at the top and bottom of the hills, within fifty yards of Marishya Union from the edge of Ramu. These madrashas are “Rahamania Madinatul Ulum Dakhil Madrasha”, “Al-Rashid Kashemul Ulum Dakhil Madrasha”, “Madrasha Islamia Arabia” and “Thoaingakata Forkania Madrasha”. The first two are side by among these fours.

The officer- in-charge (OC) of Ramu Thana Abu Taher thought these madrshas built up within the area 180.36 square kilometers, as doubtful. He expressed his concern whether any student studies in these madrashas. The OC of Maheshkhali Thana Jahirul Islam Shabuj said- most of the madrashas are present in Kutubdia and Maheshkhali Thana areas, which are built up occupying the public land.

The District Education Officer Mr. Nepal Chandra Kanti said-there is no government monitoring about the number of the kaomi madrashas and its directory systems. He also added-the numbers of such madrashas are three times bigger than the schools and colleges of the district. In fact, the District Educational Department does not have any idea about the real numbers of such madrashas.

The Doubtful Madrashas:

The most doubtful madrasha for the trainings for the rebels is “Abdullah-Bin Abbash Al-Islamia” of Ramu Thana, which is directed by “AL-Yamama Trust” of Bahrain. This madrasha established in 1995, in an isolated hilly area of Thoaingakata of Khunia Palong under Ramu Thana, started trainings to the youth coming from Myanmar. The local residents said- the rebels transferred their training centers from this madrasha during the military operation “Operation Clean Heart”.

Going to the madrasha, it was noted that, some teachers are providing learning from the Quran to 40-42 students. The principal of the madrasha Fakhrul Islam acknowledged that this madrasha was established with the financial support of Rohinga Solidarity Organization (RSO), where training is provided to the Mujahids (rebels). He also added- training was stopped after his appointment as the principal in 2001. At present twelve teachers are teaching over 150 students from the Quran and the Hadish.

It was known through investigation, ninety percent of the madrasha students are the children and adolescents of illegal infiltrators and Rohinga refugee camps of Myanmar.

Two trainers, Abdul Khalek and Abul Hosain, who are black bell awarded, train the rebels regularly. Another black bell awarded Burmese trainer named Jafar Hosain is the Superintendent of an orphanage near the local bus terminal.

Local resident Badiul Alam, who was discussing in a shop by the roadside near the madrasha, informed that he himself took training in the madrasha. One year ago, about fifty rebels took training in the madrasha field.

Abdul Jabbar, trained in Afghanistan, was their training commander. The rebels were divided into two groups after the police had become more prompt. One group left for Inani beach, while the other group was for Douchari of Naikkyang Chari.

Another doubtful madrasha in Ramu is “Chakmarkul Jamea Islamia Darul Ulum madrasha”, which was established in 1947 in Chakmarkul village. Thirty percent of over eight hundred students of the madrasha are the infiltrators of Myanmar.

On last 15 Jun, the Education Director of the madrasha said- twenty five hundred thousands of money are spent behind this madrasha per month. The officials of different detective organizations or agencies used to come to check the madrasha during the Awamileague regime.

Some selected madrasha students were provided with physical training beforehand. At this, Students from Patia and Hathzari participated in groups. But now, such activities reduced due to promptness of detectives. Yet, several selected students, who are gathered, are taught ‘Jihadi instruction’ (religious learning) after the evening. As a part of instruction, some books by the Pakistani fundamentalist leader Maolana Mashud Azhar are taught.

It is worth mentioning that, some books by Maolana Mashud Azhar are rescued from the five members of the fundamentalist organization of “Jamayatul” arrested on 12 March last year in Chanpai Nababgonj with time bombs, and also after a gun fighting with the members of the same organization on 15 august at Kshetlal of Joipurhat district.

In the evening of the same day, going to “Madrasha Rashidia Azizul Ulum” and an orphanage at Chaliatali of south Mithachari under Ramu Thana, all the houses of the madrasha were seen locked. Two old men Mohammad Hosain and Mohammed were seen sitting on a table in the open field before the madrasha. They informed, in every winter, the students come from Patia to take physical training.

There are many nameless madrashas at the bottom of the hill of Ramu. None of these has necessary infrastructure including chairs and tables. Such a madrasha is seen in the deep jungle of Ghonarpara after Narkel Bagan of Rajarkul Union. Two local residents said- even ten/fifteen days ago, Hujurs (religious people) were seen to come to this madrasha in groups. A high bamboo stake is viewed erected in one side of the madrasha. The rebels residing in the deep jungle and in localities contacted themselves through a high-powered cable put on the top of that stake. Several wooden sticks and bags of sand are seen in one corner of the training center.

Doors and windows of the said madrasha were not in order; even there was no way to get in and out. Though, the illegal infiltrator Maolana Faridul Islam, residing in the madrasha, said- he did not see any activity of the rebels for a month, one local wood cutter, in front of him, informed- still, the unknown people march in groups in the jungle behind the madrasha in the evening. They jumped down from the trees and fought each other with wooden stick in groups. If someone threw some thing, then the other protected himself by leafing and drilled on the hill with dummy guns. Discussion continued until dawn in the center. No lamp was lighted at that time.

In the eyes of the detectives, the doubtful madrasha in Teknaf is “Darush Shunnah Madrasha” at Hnila. It was known from the madrasha source, the first fundamentalist activities started in this madrasha in 1990 with the financial support of “Al-Harmain” and “International Islamic Relief Organization”(IIRO). Then, inspiring works of fanatic activities among the students started with the help of the principal-in-charge Moulavi Enamul Haque and teacher Moulavi Mojibur Rahaman of the madrasha. In September 1993, these two Islamic organizations announced the withdrawal of their financial assistance after the outbreak of dispute with the admission of the Myanmar students, training center and inclusion of three script books in the madrasha.

After knowing the matter, the students with the assistance of some local educationally inspired persons, went to strike on 25 September of that year. They hung locks on the madrasha doors and declared strike for indefinite time, demanding expulsion of the principal Enamul Haque and all kind of fanatic activities in the madrasha.

The madrasha students informed- some teachers in conspiracy with “Al-Harmain” and IIRO wanted to affiliate books by some disputed writers including Saudi thinker Ibne Imia. Two disputed Maolanas, who were employed as teachers with the assistance of Shanaul Islam of “Al-Harmain” to teach fundamentalist activities to students, are still working.

On the last 19 June, acknowledging the matter of the madrasha, the vice principal of “Darush-Shunnah Madrasha” Afshar Uddin Choudury said- for any information, one must contact with the senior kaomi madrasha in Patia.

It was known from more than one source that sometimes, trainings are held at “Darush-Shunnah Madrasha” of Chakdala village of Naikkyang Chari Thana under Bandarban district. At market, the rubber plant employee Azizur Rahaman informed that the students received trainings at “Darush-Shunnah Madrasha” with the help of RSO leader Abu Bakkar, but now, they take trainings at Dharmachara. Some students said- the Mujahids (Islamic fighter) of Myanmar rebel organization RSO were provided with armed trainings at five training camps built up on the top of hills surrounding the madrasha of Chakdala Bazaar. The rebels, coming to the madrasha, discussed with people about “Jihad” and “Islam” at night.

The Superintendent of police of Cox’s Bazaar district Shoyed Toufik Uddin Ahmed said- over numbering of madrashas creates doubt. But, these madrashas cannot be investigated properly due to lack of necessary manpower and infrastructural facilities.

The Jamayat Secretary and the president of Bar Association of Cox’s Bazaar District Advocate Shahjalal Choudury said- such kinds of trainings are being held in these kaomi madrashas built-up like mushrooms in this area. He also added- such training program or armed revolution is in no way an “Islamic ideal”

The Doubtful Mosques in Naikkyang Chari:

Some new mosques are viewed in both sides of the road from Ramu to Naikkyang Chari. All the mosques are of equal shape, without any locality nearby. “Al-Harmain” constructed 8-10 mosques of equal shape and some moktob-madrashas (institute for religious education) in the hilly areas including Adarshagram (Ideal village), Station, Shalamipara, Mazirkata, and Balubasha. The first one is “Adarshagram Jame Mosques”, which was locked. Sitting in a tea shop beside the road, a show mill employee Mr. Nurul Kader said- 10-12 people often come in the mosques. They gather the people from outside and give them oral instruction on “Jihad” after the evening. Later, they take various physical exercise binding ropes with trees.

There is another mosque named KHalid-Bin-Walid” in a distance of 70 yards from the locked one. This mosque, established eight years ago, is run by Maolana Farid. There is also another mosque in 10 yards distance, whose Muajjim (Imam) Maolana Abdul Majid came from Myanmar 3 years ago. A beautiful “Ajukhana” (a place for washing hands, feet and face) established by “Al-Harmain” is seen.

Azizur Rahaman of Chakdala village informed- Abu Bakkar, the leader of Rohinga rebel organization RSO, built up seven mosques within several years in Chakdala, Kallukata, Futtajeri and Ashadtali. Every mosque is constructed either at the bottom of hills or in the treeless lands. Four/five persons, in every tern, pray in the mosques.

“Latif-Bin-Khalifa Mosque” is situated in a treeless area, at the foot of the hill of Kallukata village 300 yards before Chakdala Bazaar. No single human being lives in the whole hilly area, except Abdur Rahaman, the Imam of the mosque. He said- “Sharty-International” of “Al-Jamiatul Islamia” of Bahrain constructed the mosque.

One Shafiulla supervises the mosque, where live the people coming from outside the mosque. In this context, he said- some foreign relief organizations established these mosques and madrashas. He helped them in doing that. He refused the matter of rebel training at the bottom of the hill beside the madrasha.

In the other side of Kutupalang Refugee Camp, is Gungdum of Naikkyang Chari Thana under Bandarban district. There is a new mosque in the northern side of the road 200 yards away from the refugee camp. It is doubtful in the eyes of local police. To reach the mosque, one must across a small canal. But the condition of the bridge over the canal is like a dieing pasent. Local resident Jahura Begum said- a group of people, under the leadership of Shafiullah of Naikkyang Chari, took training 15 days ago. The military arrested four among them at that time. People from outside often gather in this place. They shout in the midnight burning lamps. The Imam of the mosque Alamgir Hosain admitted the matter of the arrival and trainings for the people coming from outside particularly the students from different madrashas of Patia, Teknaf and Hathazari. Of course, he likes to brand this training as ‘physical exercise’. He also informed- the teachers are paid by RSO

The Naikkyang Chari Chairman Tofael Ahmed, calling the mosques doubtful, said- it is widely heard of providing training in the mosques bringing students from the madrashas of different places.

Funding of Foreign NGOs:

It is known through investigation that there are many foreign organizations, except some Islamic rebel organizations residing in the hills at present, which patronize these mosques. Among the foreign organizations – Saudi based “Al-Harmain”; Arab-Emirates based “Welfare Association”,(locally identified as”AL-Fujaira”), Dubai based (Darul Ansar Al- Khairia”, “Doulat Kuwait” and “Doulat Bahrain” including some others are highly mentionable. Though, the above mentioned organizations have no offices in the concerned areas, Maolana Md. Unush, Maolana Nazir Ahmaed, Maolana Faridul Islam, Kamal M. Khalifa, and Hafej Shanaul Haque, Maolana Kabir Ahmed, Hafej Nurul Bashar, Shekandar Ali, Master Gafur, Abdullah at Hnila of Teknaf and Maolana Dil Mohammad, Anwar Hosain at Ukhia work as the representatives of the mentioned organizations. In the good term of providing donations to mosques and madrashas, the above mentioned persons compel the teachers to inspire the students for armed revolution including getting admitted of Rohinga students and employment of Burmese teachers.

The main office of NGO “Al- Harmain” is in Sector No-4 of Uttara residential area in the capital city of Dhaka. The head of this organization Alhajj Kamal Uddin, who is now outside Bangladesh, is a Sudanese citizen. The General Secretary of this organization Shoyebur Rahaman gave an interview for the “Daily Pratom Alo” on 8 last August. In his inter view, he said- we have been building up several mosques in Cox’s Bazaar and in Naikkyang Chari of Bandarban district from the last year. Besides this, they also provide assistance to the madrashas and mosques of the area. They also assist the Rohinga refugees. But, refusing the matter of Rohinga rebel group and providing trainings in the newly established mosques, he said- “Welfare Association” works only as “Via”. The donors supply money for the establishment of these mosques. This donation is reached at local levels.

The principal office of “Darul Anshar” is in the western side of the Kalurghat Bridge under Boalkhali Thana of Chittagong. The head of this organization Maolana Shelimullah refused the patronization of the rebels. It is mentionable that Zakaria, who is the former General Secretary of RSO, is the brother of the above said Shelimullah. On the other hand, the “Al-Harmain” head quarter was banned on the last August 30. Before this, the Executive Director of this organization S.Tibriz acknowledged the matter of the establishment of mosques and madrashas in Cox’s Bazaar and Naikkyang Chari and provision for the Rohinga refugees. But, he refused the assistance in rebel trainings.

Source: PCJSS

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