Prison authorities on Wednesday formed a three-member committee to investigate whether Islamic State cap which Rakibul Hasan Regan, who along with six other militants was sentenced to death in the Holey Artisan café attack case, wore in the court was provided from inside the jail.
All the jails across the country were also directed to beef up security to avert any unpleasant incident over the verdict in the Holey Artisan café attack case.
Seven militants, including Regan, were sentenced to death on Wednesday for their roles in the Holey Artisan café attack, the deadliest terror attack in Bangladesh’s history that claimed the lives of 22 people, including 17 foreigners.
Judge Mohammad Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal handed down the verdict.
After the delivery of the verdict, Regan put his hand into his pocket and brought out a prayer cap decorated with the symbol of IS and then put it on his head amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” from the other convicts.
Contacted, Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Mustafa Kamal Pasha said they formed the probe panel in the afternoon with Additional IG of Prisons Colonel Abrar Hossain as its head to look into the incident.
The committee will inquire whether the cap was provided by any prison employee, he said, adding that it was asked to submit its report within five working days.
Pasha also said all the prisons across the country were alerted and ordered to beef up the security to avert any unpleasant incident over the verdict.
Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Dal president Ishtiaq Aziz Ulfat was arrest at Hazrat Shahjalal international Airport early Wednesday in a case filed in connection with Tuesday’s clash between police and a group of BNP leaders and activists in front of the High Court.
Plainclothes police arrested Ulfat around 1:45am at the airport and then took him to Shahbagh Police Station, said BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi.
He said the Muktijoddha Dal president was scheduled to go to the USA.
On Tuesday night, a case was filed with Shahbagh Police Station against 500 people in connection with the clash.
Matiur Rahman, sub-inspector of the police station, filed the case against 20-25 identified and 475 unidentified people on charges of vandalism and assault on police, said Arifur Rahman, inspector of Shahbagh Police Station.
He said Ulfat was shown arrested in the case.
On Tuesday, two policemen were injured in a clash between a group of BNP leaders and activists and police while they were staging a demonstration in front of the High Court seeking Khaleda Zia’s release.
A number of vehicles were also vandalised during the clash.
Ulfat along with some BNP leaders took part in the demonstration carried out under the banner of Jatiyatabadi Muktijoddha Projonmo Dal.
Meanwhile, BNP senior joint secretary general Ruhul Kabir Rizvi on Wednesday denounced the case failed against their party leaders and activists.
Speaking at a programme at the party’s Nayapaltan central office, he said their party men staged the demonstration in front of the High Court exercising their constitutional rights.
Rizvi warned that the government will not be able to suppress the nationalist forces by using the law enforcers.
The United States on Wednesday said the verdict on terrorist attack at Holey Artisan Bakery gives some closure to the families of those who suffered from the brutal murders committed that day saying the trial represents a landmark case for Bangladesh.
"The United States is honored to have assisted the government of Bangladesh throughout the investigation into the attack," said the US Embassy in Dhaka in a statement.
The US said they remain committed to continuing to support Bangladesh in its fight against terrorism, especially in their shared efforts to improve the rule of law.
It noted the conclusion of the trial following the terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka in July 2016 and renewed its deepest condolences to the loved ones of the civilians slain and Bangladeshi law enforcement officials who were killed or injured responding to this contemptible terrorist attack.
Seven men were sentenced to death on Wednesday for their roles in the Holey Artisan café attack, the deadliest terror attack in Bangladesh’s history that claimed the lives of 22 people, including 17 foreigners.
Judge Mohammad Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal handed down the verdict on Wednesday.
Jatiya Party Chairman GM Quader on Wednesday expressed satisfaction over the verdict in Holey Artisan café attack case, saying it will help the misguided youths return to normal life.
In a statement, he said the country’s image was dented with the Gulshan’s Holey Artisan café attack three years back. “The image of the country will revive to a great extent with this verdict.”
Stating that the people of Bangladesh never believe in militancy, the Jatiya Party chief said militants will never be able to raise their ugly heads in the country. “The verdict will help stray youths to return to normal life.”
GM Quader also hailed the lower court verdict saying the offenders were given the due punishment. “It’ll enhance common people’s respect for law. It’s also demonstrated that the government is sincere and respectful for the rule of law.”
He said their party will always support the government’s steps to suppress militancy as it did in the past.
“We hope no-one of our young people will follow such wrong path and go stray in the future… we all love our country and we want its progress,” he added.
Earlier in the day, an anti-terrorism tribunal here sentenced seven militants to death for their involvement in in the Holey Artisan café attack, the deadliest terror attack in Bangladesh’s history that claimed the lives of 22 people, including 17 foreigners.
On July 1, 2016, armed terrorists barged into the upscale restaurant in the heart of the diplomatic quarter and unleashed an unprecedented carnage that shook the nation.
Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque on Wednesday said Bangladesh will continue to pursue accountability efforts, impetus for which must come from the international community, to create pressure on Myanmar to address the rights of Rohingyas, including their citizenship.
He said one of the international legal pathways to accountability and justice is through the International Criminal Court which can raise proceedings against individuals for “forced deportation” under Rome Statute.
Another is through the International Court of Justice with which Gambia, on behalf of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, filed a case against Myanmar under Genocide Convention, said the Foreign Secretary.
Haque made the remarks while delivering a public lecture on “Justice and Accountability for Rohingya” organised by the Centre for Peace and Justice (CPJ) of BRAC University at its auditorium.
With CPJ Executive Director Monzoor Hasan in the chair, the function was also addressed by Pro-Vice Chancellor of Brac University Prof M Tamim.
The Foreign Secretary said the ICC took up the suo moto case to punish the individuals in Myanmar responsible for committing crime against humanity by killing innocent Rohingyas.
He mentioned that the ICC will carry out its investigation about the ethnic cleansing in Myanmar under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed with Bangladesh.
The Foreign Secretary said Bangladesh will continue with bilateral approaches for the “safe and sustainable” return of the Rohingyas.
To that end, he said, Myanmar must create a conducive environment for the safe return of Rohingyas to their place of origin as the Rohingya crisis is a political one deeply rooted in that country.
The Foreign Secretary said Myanmar has to create the conducive environment by addressing the “root causes” inside its territory, ensure safety, security and livelihood, hold the perpetrators accountable and ensure civil and political rights which are fundamental freedoms.
Haque said Rakhine is rich in minerals and there are very a few countries which have not invested in business hubs being created there.
He also said Myanmar would come under serious pressure and it knows that its generals might be taken to The Hague.
Responding to a query, the Foreign Secretary said the ICJ is part of the UN system which has a vast implication on Myanmar as it is a member nation and the military generals responsible for the crime will have to face the prosecution with the international court. “Many generals who were responsible for massacre in Bosnia are now being tried in The Hague”, he said, adding that generals in Myanmar were also warned about such consequences during talks with them.
BRAC University Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Tamim urged the government to make its initiatives more visible to people.
He apprehended that Bangladesh would face a difficult time with these displaced people.