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Wed, Nov 27, 2019 2:02

7 to die for Holey Artisan attack

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The Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal on Wednesday convicted seven accused to death and one acquitted in the case of the horrific militant attack in the Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016.

The Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal on Wednesday convicted seven accused to death and one acquitted in the case of the horrific militant attack in the Gulshan’s Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016.

Judge Mojibur Rahman of Dhaka’s Special Anti-Terrorism Tribunal gave the verdict at 12:00 pm.

The death convicts are — Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Rashedul Islam alias Rash, Haatkata Sohel Mahfuz, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Shariful Islam alias Khaled and Mamunur Rashid alias Ripon. 

Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan was acquitted from the case.

Earlier at 10:15 am, the accused were brought by prison van from Keraniganj’s to Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Court.

On July 1, 2016, five young men armed with guns and knives stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery, an upstate cafe‚ located in the capital’s diplomatic zone Gulshan, and took several people hostage back on July 1, 2016.

The standoff ended in a bloody operation 22 hours after, resulting in the death of 20 innocent people - nine Italians, seven Japanese, an Indian, a Bangladeshi-born American and two Bangladeshis. Two police officials valiantly laid down their lives while trying to save people there. Later, five militants were killed in a commando operation.

The attack on the upscale restaurant in the heart of the diplomatic quarter shook the nation.

During the joint operation of law enforcers, five militants were killed in Operation Thunderbolt. They are — Rohan bin Imtiaz, Mir Sameh Mobassher, Nibraj Islam, Shafiqul Islam alias Ujjal and Khairul Islam alias Payel.

A Japanese and two Sri Lankan people were rescued alive in the operation.

Apart from them, eight of the accused in the case were killed in various ‘militant-den’ drives; they are — Tamim Ahmed Chowdhury, Nurul Islam Marjan, Tanvir Qaderi, Major (Retd) Zahidul Islam alias Murad, Raihan Kabir Tarek, Sarwan Jahan Manik, Basharujjaman Alias Chocolate, and Mizanur Rahman alias Choto Mizan.

The Neo JMB conducted the attack in the diplomatic area of ​​Dhaka to asserting themselves that the attack was for ‘establishing Sharia law’ in Bangladesh.

After investigating for more than two years, Humayun Kabir, an inspector of the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of the police, identified the 20 people involved and filed chargesheets against eight of them in court on July 23, 2018.

After framing the charges against 8 accused on November 26, 2018, the trial began on December 3 through the statement of SI Ripon Kumar Das, a plaintiff in the case.

The Act of 2009 provides for the maximum penalty of death sentence or life imprisonment if convicted in the murder by terrorist acts. The state prosecutors have claimed that they have been able to prove charges against eight accused in the Anti-Terrorism Act.

On November 17, Judge Md Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal set the date as both prosecution and defence concluded their arguments in the case. A total of 113 out of 211 witnesses have testified in the case.