Revealing a rift in the Hefazat-e-Islam, which terms itself as Bangladesh's largest "non-political" Islamist group, its Joint Secretary General, Mainuddin Ruhi, on Saturday said that an "illegal" council meeting has been convened to implement the agenda of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its students' wing Islami Chhatra Shibir.Meanwhile, the outfit's founder, late Shah Ahmad Shafi's brother-in-law, Mohammad Moyeenuddin, claimed that Shafi, who died in September aged 103, was killed by the "spectre" of Jamaat-Shibir at Hathazari Madrasa, and urged the Hefazat leaders not to hold any council before the trial of Shafi's "killing".Addressing a a press conference at the Chittagong Press Club, he also said that Shafi's son Anas Madani could not attend the meet as he is receiving several death threats from the Jamaat.Even before Shafi's death, Jamaat leaders and others were meeting regularly at the the Hathazari madrasa of the outfit to decide on its new leadership, he said.Moyeenuddin alleged that Jamaat leaders verbally abused and intimidated Shafi and forced him to step down. As a result, Shafi fell ill and went into coma as his oxygen pipe was repeatedly taken off."The ambulance carrying Shafi was obstructed in a planned way to ensure his death.
Shafi was killed by Jamaat-Shibir in a premeditated way. We, on behalf of his family, demand a proper investigation into his death."We are deeply shocked that no steps have been taken yet. We urge the government to take necessary legal steps after conducting a judicial inquiry," he said, adding that he was appearing on behalf of his ailing sister and Shafi's wife Feroza Begum.About the student unrest at the Hathazari Madrasa just before the death of Shafi, Moyeenuddin said Jamaat-Shibir men had provoked some students."(Secretary General) Junayed Babunagari used his followers to plunder and vandalise the age-old institution. They even torched some religious scriptures during the rampage," he said.Ruhi said: "The council of Hefazat-e-Islam on Sunday morning is illegal and it has to be stopped immediately as the convener of the council, Muhibullah Babunagari (maternal uncle of Junayed Babunagari), resigned from Hefazat as the Naib Ameer in 2016.""Five of seven Joint Secretary Generals and 23 of the 35 Naib Ameers of Hefazat-e- Islam have not been invited to the council," he alleged.According to the leaders, Jamaat leader Shamim Sayedee, son of Delwar Hossain Sayedee who was sentenced to life for committing crimes against humanity in 1971, had included his followers in the madrassa in recent period. Another Jamat leader, Maulana Mamunul Haque, and his associates are very active in the Hathazari madrasa.