The two militants – convicted to death in publisher Dipan murder case – were snatched from police custody on a Dhaka court premises at the instruction of top Ansar al-Islam leaders.
Additional Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman, chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan police (DMP), said this at a press briefing at the DMP media centre on Thursday noon.
On Wednesday, CTTC arrested Mehdi Hasan Omi alias Rafi (24), a member of the military wing of Ansar al-Islam, who law enforcers said was involved in the escape of the two convicted militants.
Rafi is an accused in the case which was filed with Kotwali Police Station in connection with the incident.
Rafi used to recruit members in the ‘Askari’ wing of the banned militant group, in coordination with sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haque alias Major Zia, said the CTTC chief.
Rafi led his team in helping the two convicted militants escape from the Dhaka court premises, he said, adding that three cases under the Anti-Terrorism Act were filed with Dhaka's Mohammadpur, Sutrapur and Badda Police Stations against Rafi for his involvement in anti-state and anti-government activities in 2016.
Rafi used to communicate with the other accused during regular appearances at the court during trials of terrorism cases and informed them of the group’s plans, said the CTTC officer.
On November 20, Rafi led his group in whisking away the two militants, who were sentenced to death in publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan murder case, from the CMM court premises in Dhaka after using pepper spray on the faces of the policemen, he added.
The escapees are Ansar al-Islam members Md Abu Siddique Sohel alias Sakib alias Sajid alias Shahab and Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir alias Sifat alias Imran.
Police filed a case against 20 people in connection with the escape of the two death row convict militants from the Dhaka court. A five-member probe body was also formed by the Bangladesh Police on the same day and it was asked to submit its report within three working days.