“Although it’s hard to admit, I have to say there has been no order in Nardaran for long. The residents of this town have been disrespectful to the laws of our state. Even before independence, the Soviet laws were not in effect in Nardaran, whose dwellers did not recognize the government. The town was ruled according to local tradition,” Chief of Baku’s Sabunchu district police department, police colonel Eldar Ilyasov, who participated in the Nardaran operation, told APA.
Five members of the gang, which operated under the guise of religion, were killed as a result of a special operation carried out by the Azerbaijani law enforcement in Nardaran settlement in late November 2015. Two police officers were also killed in the operation. Members of the gang were detained and then arrested.
He noted that residents were not allowed to build houses in areas of land which had been given to them on the order of the executive authority.
“A group of residents was explicitly threatening to kill those citizens. They were saying, ‘The land belongs to their forefathers. You can’t build a house here. If you do, we’ll burn it down.’ Of course, this was all under the control of government. There were constant talks with residents and the country’s laws were being explained to them. To put it briefly, we were trying to restore the order in the settlement. Unfortunately, residents were unwilling to obey the laws,” he said.
According to the police chief, in November 2015, the Sabunchu district police department detained Elchin Gasimov, a representative of the so-called “Muslim Unity” organization, for showing violent resistance against a government representative.
“On November 5, the detainee’s father, along with a group of residents, gathered outside the police station and demanded the release of Elchin Gasimov. We received his father and made an effort to explain to him that his son had broken the law and the problem could not be resolved by gathering in front of the police department and voicing inappropriate requirements. However, they rejected all our calls. On the contrary, they began to make various calls on social networks against our state and statehood. The crowd that gathered in front of the police office attacked the police and injured a few ones. However, their attack was repelled in a short time and many people were detained. We received information that they did not intend to calm down and gathered people from different districts of the country to Nardaran. They aimed to enter the police departments and get weapons, violate the social and political stability and commit provocations, mass riots and terror in the country. It is clear that the expansion of religious radicalism and extremism leads to increase of security risks. At such moments, certain external forces use radicals to destabilize the situation in the country. They try to create a confrontation between different sectarian groups. The developments that happened two years ago in Nardaran are the result of these efforts. We learned that Taleh Bagirov created a movement called “Muslim Unity” in order to change forcibly the constitutional order of our state and establish a religious state governed by sharia law. They created a criminal group gathering supporters from other regions of the country and providing them with firearms, explosives and devices. These people held unlawful assemblies in Nardaran settlement and discussed the ways of raising the population of the republic against the government and distributed the call lists to the population. This issue could not be approached frivolously. If the Azerbaijani state did not intervene in time, I would assure you that the results could be very hard. Taking into account this situation, the Ministry of Internal Affairs decided to carry out a special operation in Nardaran for the detention of those persons. Rendering armed resistance during the operation carried out on November 26, the criminals opened fire and threw a hand grenade at police officers. In response to the continuous firing of the attackers, four members of the criminal gang were killed and other members of the gang were seized by the special operation group. Despite the growing number of supporters of the armed criminal gang in the area where the operation took place, police officers carried out their service duties with bravery till the end and 2 of our officers heroically died. As a result of the intervention of our state, the radical extremists' plans to disrupt the socio-political stability and create confrontation were disclosed. Some so-called opposition forces shamelessly claim today that the police had simulated the Nardaran events. Failing in getting support from the people, these people are trying to attract supporters by defending those who oppose the statehood in Nardaran. Those that rose up against state were carrying flag of Hezbollah, rather than Azerbaijan,” said the police chief.