The media was threatened in an e-mail by none other than the leaders of an Awami Ulama League faction that used the name of banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team, its rival group alleges.A faction led by Ilias Hossain bin Helali and Delowar Hossain made the claim at a press briefing on Wednesday.It said “truth will be unveiled” if leaders of its rival faction, led by Aktar Hossain and Abul Hasan, were interrogated. But Hasan rejected the allegations.“The charges are false,” he told bdnews24.com in his reaction. “Helali is running a snide campaign against us as we speak of Bangabandhu, the Awami League and the Ulama League.”Supporters of the rival factions, who have been at loggerheads for long, fought each other in front of National Press Club several days ago.Both claim to be the ‘real Awami Ulama League’ but the ruling party does not recognise the organisation as its front.Helali said a ‘certain quarter’ was conspiring to defame the Ulama League.“I suspect those self-styled Ulama League leaders sent the e-mail to the media using Ansarullah Bangla Team’s name,” he said of his rivals.“Interrogating them will reveal the truth.”Awami League’s Dhaka metropolitan unit Senior Vice President Moyez Uddin was present at Wednesday’s press conference held at the ruling party’s headquarters.An e-mail in the name of Ansarullah was sent to several media outlets ‘ordering’ them to refrain from running anti-Jihadi news and sacking all female employees.
The bickering Ulama League groups had blamed each other for being affiliated with the Jamaat-e-Islami and Hifazat-e Islam.Helali now added a new dimension to their rivalry by suggesting militant ties.“Aktar Hossain and Abul Hasan want to strengthen Ansarullah Bangla Team with their 13-point charter of demands using Ulama League’s name,” he alleged.“They want to carry out agendas of Jamaat and Hifazat.”Most of the demands by the Hossain-Hasan faction echo the controversial 13-point demand of hardliner Hifazat.“Identities of Ansarullah members will be known if they are arrested and interrogated,” Helali added.Moyez Uddin of Awami League said he had been following Ulama League’s activities for quite some time.“Our party considers Helali-Hossain faction as Ulama League,” he said.“Aktar Hossain and Babul Hasan were in the BNP. I don’t know when they joined the Awami League but they did not resign from the BNP,” he added.“That’s why I don’t consider them a part of the Awami League.”