Blast at Ahmadiyya house injures woman
Bombs were planted; two suspects arrested
Shamim Ashraf and Sheikh Shahidul Islam from B’Baria
A powerful bomb blew off the wrist of a middle-aged Ahmadiyya woman at Brahmanbaria yesterday, 52 days into a series bomb explosions in the same area.
Police recovered two unexploded bombs planted inside and out of the house of the injured, Hosne Ara Hosena, 55, at Bhadughar.
Top officials of local police said they are quite certain that the people behind June 24 bomb blasts at Kandipara and Bhadughar were behind the latest attack.
Leaders of Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Bangladesh blamed law enforcement agencies for their reluctance to arrest the members of the anti-Ahmadiyya Khatme Nabuwat.
They said the laxity encouraged the zealots to carry out repeated attacks on the Ahmadiyyas in Brahmanbaria, country’s first Ahmadiyya base 80 kilometres off Dhaka.
Members of the anti-Ahmadiyya group are carrying out a hate campaign for long to drive out the minor Islamic sect members from the eastern district.
Brahmanbaria police arrested Hosena’s two neighbours — Khokon, 25, and Hossain, 32, — after the explosion occurred at about 6:00am. The two were found roaming around the house about four hours before the blast.
Hosena, now being treated at Brahmanbaria Sadar Hospital, had survived another attack when the anti-Ahmadiyya neighbours swooped on her house on October 29 last year.
“It was around 6:00am. Mother (Hosena) called me to say the Fazr prayers and I heard her screaming as a big bang rocked the whole area,” Poly, Hosena’s daughter and an HSC student of Brahmanbaria Government College, told The Daily Star.
“Rushing out of my room, I saw my mother groaning, lying in front of our toilet, with her wrist blown off. I saw the blown off fingers scattered around her,” Poly said, with her eyes filled with tears.
Hosena’s family rushed her to the Sadar Hospital and admitted her there. The right side of her face was burnt in the explosion. “We had to cut a few inches [of her wrist] to prevent gangrene,” said Dr Rana Nurus Shams at the hospital.
During a visit, The Daily Star correspondents found bloodstains on the walls and the yard of the house, now kept cordoned off by the police.
The attackers dug holes and planted the three bombs made with torchlight cover, with batteries attached to them. One was planted in front of the toilet, another in the middle of the yard of the three-room house and another just in front of the main gate.
One of the bombs exploded when Hosena attempted to pick it up mistaking it for a torchlight. “The bombs were planted in a planned way so that those go off when anyone hits the bamboo tab coming out of those,” said a local police officer.
The victim’s relatives said Khokon and Hossain, who live a few yards off their house, were among Khatme Nabuwat men who attacked their house on October 29 to oust them from the area for their belief in Ahmadiyyat.
Local police said they intercepted Khokon and Hossain when they were roaming around Hosena’s house at 2:00am yesterday. Asked about their motive of roaming in the dead of night, they told police they were searching for their missing hens.
Police arrested them from the area later in the day. Asked by the police, Hosena’s son Jasim identified the two as their neighbours.
Local Ahmadiyyas said the police usually patrol the area until 5:30am. The questioned how the bombs were planted despite the police patrol.
Asked about the motive of the attack, ATM Tareq, Brahmanbaria Superintendent of Police (SP), told The Daily Star: “It is too early to comment, but there is strong possibility that the same group which carried out the June 24 attack are behind this one.”
“The cocktails [bombs] used in June 24 incidents were a bit more sophisticated than the two recovered today, but the nature of the attack suggests the group behind both the incidents may be the same,” he said.
Asked whether the explosions have any link to the bomb attack at Kharampur shrine in Akhaura in the district last Friday, the SP said: “We are probing it.”
The SP expressed hope to arrest the group soon, saying, “We are determined to find the root of the attacks. We have significant information about the masterminds.”
Local police officials and central Ahmadiyya leaders visited the panicked Ahmadiyyas in Bhadughar yesterday. Six policemen have been deployed at Hosena’s house.