By Sumi Khan
Dhaka, Aug 19 | Militant outfit Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh chief, Junaid Babunagari, died on Thursday while undergoing treatment at a hospital in Chittagong. He was 68.
Further details regarding his hospitalisation and death could not be known immediately.
Meanwhile, a specialised Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) team submitted to court its probe report against 43 persons, including Babunagari, in connection with their involvement in “creating an atmosphere to accelerate” the death of then Hefazat chief, Shah Ahmad Shafi in September last year.
Born in 1953 in Babunagar village of Fatikchhari upazila in Chittagong, Babunagari was, at the age of five, enrolled in Al-Jamiatul Islamiah Azizul Uloom and then, spent 10 years at Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam.
At the age of 20, he enrolled in Jamia Uloom-ul-Islamia of Pakistan and studied there for four years.
At 24, he began teaching at Al-Jamiatul Islamiah Azizul Uloom, Babunagar, and then later joined Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam.
When Hefazat-e-Islam Bangladesh was formed in 2010, he became its Secretary General, while serving as a teacher of Hadith and Assistant Director of Al-Jamiatul Ahlia Darul Ulum Moinul Islam.
On November 15, 2020, he was elected the new Amir (chief) of Hefazat following the demise of Shafi.
Soon after the formation of the 249-member Central Committee, Hefazat hogged the headlines as it strongly opposed the construction of Bangabandhu’s sculpture in the capital and organised protests against the ruling Awami League.
On December 7, two sedition cases were filed with the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court against Babunagari.
On April 26, Babunagari dissolved the Central Committee, following Hefazat’s violent activities in wake of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bangladesh visit on March 26.
A new committee was declared in June, with most of the Hefazat leaders involved in violent activities in March and those involved in different political parties dropped from it.