Gulshan attack: Police press charges against eight suspects

  • Staff Correspondent,
    Published: 2018-07-23 13:27:32 BdST

Police have filed a charge sheet against eight of 21 suspects believed to be involved in the 2016 militant attack on Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery, which led to the deaths of 20 hostages.

The 13 others ‘linked’ to the attack were killed in various security force operations, which is why they have been dropped from the charge sheet.

The charge sheet has been sent after all formalities were completed, said Police Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit Chief Monirul Islam, whose unit led the investigation, at a press conference at Minto Road on Monday.

Six of the living suspects are currently in prison, while two are absconding, he said.

Those in custody are Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rafiqul Islam Rigan, Soheil Mahfuz, Rashedul Islam alias Rash and Hadisur Rahman Sagor.

Warrants have been requested for the arrests of the two fugitives, Shahidul Islam Khaled and Mamunur Rashid Ripon, Islam said.

The investigation did not find the involvement of former North South University teacher Hasnat Karim, who was detained from the café, in the attack, counterterrorism police officers said on condition of anonymity.

Five militants had entered the upscale eatery in Dhaka’s Gulshan on Jul 1, 2016 and taken those inside hostage. Seventeen foreigners and three Bangladeshis were killed by the attackers.

Army commandos eventually stormed the cafe, killing five attackers - Nibras Islam, Mir Sameeh Mobassher, Rohan Imtiaz, Khairul Islam Payel and Shafiqul Islam Ujjal - ending a siege which had lasted overnight.

Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, identified as the mastermind behind the carnage, his associates Jahidul Islam, Tanvir Qaderi, Nurul Islam Marzan, Abu Rayhan Tarek, Sarwar Jahan, Basharuzzaman alias Chocolate and Chhoto Mizan were killed in anti-terror drives.

In addition to planning and coordinating the attack, some of the suspects trained the attackers and supplied arms and money, according to police.

The law enforcers have blamed the attack on the revived chapter of radical Islamist group Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh or Neo-JMB despite claim of responsibilities by Middle East-based Islamic State.