CHITTAGONG, Aug. 7: Detective Branch (DB) of the Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) arrested Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury, Nayeb-e-Ameer of Hifazat-e-Islam, the prime suspect of madrasa explosion in Chittagong's Lalkhan Bazar on Friday.
Police raided the Lalkhan Bazar area around 2:30pm and arrested Izharul Islam, founder of the madrasa. He was accused in several cases including one under the Explosive Substance Act, Tanvir Arafat, Additional Deputy Commissioner (DB) of CMP told our staff correspondent.
Izharul went into hiding after three people including two students were killed and several others injured in the explosion at the four-storey dormitory of Al Jamiatul Ulum Al Islamia Madrasa in Lalkhan Bazar of Chittagong on October 7 in 2013. Izahar's son Mufti Harun was arrested from Raozan two days later but his father managed to evade arrest. Harun is also a leader of Hifazat and a teacher at the madrasa.
A Chittagong Court last year issued arrest warrant against Hefajat-e Islam Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Izharul Islam Chowdhury in a case filed for not submitting his wealth statement before the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC). Mufti Izharul has evaded arrest for over one and a half years.
Police later recovered huge explosive-making materials, four unexploded grenades from the surrounding areas of the madrasa and 18 bottles of acid after raiding the residence of Izahar on the night of the deadly bomb explosion.
Police than found traces of huge explosives, including more than 30 handmade grenades, had been stored in the room where the explosion took place.
Later, Khulshi Police filed three cases - one under Explosives Substance Act, another under Acid Act and the other for murder of the three people in which nine people were accused including Mufti Izhar, his son Mufti Harun, three other madrasa teachers and two students.
The madrasa authorities tried to pass it off as a laptop blast, but police recovered grenades, acid and huge amount of explosives during a raid on the madrasa after the blast.
On October 10, three days after the explosion, a press conference on behalf of the Hifazat-e Islam central committee claimed the incident was an arranged 'drama' by police and media.
Chittagong-based radical group Hifazat's Nayeb-e-Amir Izaharul is also the chief of Nezam-e-Islam Party.
The DB police detained Harun Bin Izhar, at the gate of Chittagong Central Jail after he was freed on bail on January 21 this year.
RAB in December 2010 arrested Mufti Izaharul over charges of involvement in militancy. But he was later released on bail.