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14th anniversary of Aug 17 series blast: Preparing database to record militancy related info at final stage

  • Published at 11:47 pm August 16th, 2019
Photo: Collected

Preparing database to record militancy related info at final stage

Today’s date was a terrifying day for Bangladesh, the 14th anniversary of series bomb attacks in the country, which was carried out by Jama’atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

On this day in 2005, when the BNP-Jamaat-led four-party alliance government was in power, the members of banned outfit JMB carried out a series of attacks in around 500 places of 63 districts out of 64. Munshiganj was the only district that was spared. The incident claimed two lives, and left 200 others injured. 

The 30-minute mayhem started at 11:30am killing one in Chapainawabganj, and another in Savar while the injured were scattered across the country.

In the attacks, 159 cases were lodged across the country, 18 in Dhaka alone. Police named 1,072 people in 142 charge sheets. 133 of them are on bail. Final report of 17 cases has been submitted.

The courts have so far sentenced 322 people to various punishments, while 358 of them were released; as per Police headquarter’s data from September 2018.

Trial in two cases has already been disposed off, while police submitted  final report in nine cases, and seven cases are under trial, said Abdullah Abu, chief public prosecutor of Dhaka Metropolitan Session Judge's Court.

JMB top leaders – its chief Shaikh Abdur Rahman, his- second-in-command Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai, military commander Ataur Rahman Sunny, think-tank Abdul Awal, Khaled Saifullah, and Salahuddin were hanged on March 30 in 2007 in the case of the killing of two judges in Jhalokathi district.

Regarding delay in trials in the cases of Dhaka, public prosecutor Abdullah Abu said recording of testimonies is going on in some cases.

“There is no mention of names, and addresses of the accused in many of the cases. Also, witnesses are not available on time. Many of them do not give statement in court,” he said.

The work is also taking time as addresses of most of the witnesses have changed in the last 14 years, he added.

The public prosecutor of Dhaka expected to complete trials of seven cases this year.

Police and Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) officials said they have neutralised most of the militants in the country, and none of them have the organisational capacity to launch major attacks.

Assistant Inspector General Police headquarters' (media) Sohel Rana said they have completed investigation in the cases, and have filed reports to the courts.

Most of the cases had already been disposed off, and few of them are awaiting trial, he said.

“Police is keeping a close surveillance on militants who have been set free on bail, or who are released after completing their sentences. Works on separate database for eight divisional headquarters is at the finishing point. The database will keep a record of all militancy related information, and help in maintaining the surveillance more easily,” said Rana.

Also, process is underway to bring the people involved in militancy to normal life, he added.