Detectives have determined that activists of banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) carried out the brutal hacking inside Xulhaz's family residence.
Aside from tracing the killers, whose identities have not been disclosed by investigators, there has been no development in the case. Police have arrested Shariful Islam alias Shihab who allegedly supplied firearms to the militants to run the killing operation.
The sluggish progress has irked the victim's family. His elder brother Minhaz Mannan, who filed the murder case, declined to comment to the media, except to say that he hoped for exemplary punishment for the killers.
A Dhaka court on October 13 fixed November 10 for the submission of the charge sheet in the case.
The Detective Branch of police was assigned to investigate the double murder with assistance from the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit.
DB Deputy Commissioner Masruqure Rahman Khaled confirmed that five killers had been traced, saying they had participated in several previous killings. “Drives are on to arrest the militants.”
The CTTC last week arrested Rashidun Nabi on the charge of killing Jagannath University student and secular activist Nazimuddin Samad. Nabi, along with four others, allegedly took part in the killing.
CTTC chief Monirul Islam said during questioning Nabi confessed to having a role in the Xulhaz and Tonoy murders.
“We are now analysing his information and trying to track down the whereabouts of the killers,” the CTTC chief added.
Sources in the CTTC unit said Nabi admitted to having close relations with ABT operation wing chief Syed Ziaul Haque, who is believed to have masterminded targeted killings across the country claimed by Ansar Al Islam (banned group ansarullah), the Bangladesh affiliate of al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).
Police Headquarters have declared a bounty of Tk20 lakh for information regarding the sacked army major.
On April 25, armed assailants entered Xulhaz's Kalabagan flat in Dhaka identifying themselves as courier company staff and hacked him and Tonoy to death.
Police earlier declared bounty for Ansarullah trainer Salim alias Iqbal alias Mamun alias Hadi 2, who was directly involved in the attack, and top leader Mukul Rana alias Shariful alias Shakib alias Sharif alias Saleh alias Arif alias Hadi 1.
Mukul was killed in an alleged gunfight with DB police in Khilgaon area of Dhaka on June 19 while his associate Hadi 2 has been absconding.
AQIS has claimed 13 attacks in Bangladesh since January 2013. Eleven people including war crimes trial campaigners, and secular writers, bloggers and publishers were hacked to death in the attacks.