Members of the Detective Branch (DB) of police arrested Md Abdus Sabur alias Raju alias Saad alias Salman alias Samad alias Sujon from Tongi Railway Station area on Saturday night.
From a press briefing held yesterday, chief of Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit Monirul Islam said that they had arrested Raju based on information given by two Ansarullah leaders, arrested earlier in connection with the attacks.
Hailing from Nangolkot of Comilla, Sabur, 23, was a student of Jatrabari Faridabad Madrasa, Monirul said. He was a member of the group's military wing.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police declared Tk2 lakh bounty on Raju, who is believed to be one of the four military wing commanders of Ansarullah – responsible for carrying out machete and gun attacks on a dozen of war crimes trial campaigners, secularists and rights campaigners since 2013.
The government banned Ansarullah on May 23 last year. The outfit is believed to be representing al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS) under the name of Ansar al-Islam.
Earlier, detectives arrested Ansarullah leaders Sumon Hossain Patwari on June 15 and Moinul Hasan Shamim on August 23. Both of them involved in the two attacks conducted on October 31 last year.
On that day, Dipan was hacked to death at his Jagriti Prokashoni office at Aziz Super Market of Shahbagh. Another team of militants attacked Shuddhashar publisher Tutul at his Lalmatia office. Two writers – Ranadipam Basu and Tareq Rahim – who were at his office at that time were also injured in the attack.
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court yesterday granted the police six days to interrogate Raju in the attempted murder of Tutul.
DB Inspector Md Bahauddin Faruqui, also the investigating officer of the case, produced Raju before the court of Dhaka’s Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Md Kaisarul Islam and prayed for a 10-day remand.
Monirul said that Raju used to motivate the Ansarullah members, mostly youths, in carrying out attacks on atheists. An expert in Arabic language and use of machete, Raju also trained the attackers.
Raju was not present on the scene of blogger Avijit Roy murder but the police have found his involvement in the attacks on Avijit’s publishers. “We can say that he is one of the masterminds of the two attacks,” Monirul said.
After Raju’s arrest, publisher Tutul – now staying abroad – in a Facebook post yesterday urged the law enforcers to find the kingpins, financiers and arms suppliers of the outfit.