Former NSU teacher Hasnat Reza Karim, a survivor of the Gulshan attack, is still a person of interest in the case, the country's police chief has said.
Hasnat, however, was not in police custody, Inspector General of Police AKM Shahidul Hoque told reporters, contradicting the home minister's claim last week that the former North South University teacher was still being interrogated by law enforcers.
“But we have knowledge about his [Hasnat] location. If needed, we can bring him under custody any time,” the IGP said yesterday.
During a press conference at the Police Headquarters, Shahidul added: “We are analysing his previous history and his role on the day of attack.”
If the police are able to collect concrete evidence against him, Hasnat will be shown arrested, the police chief added.
Investigation sources told the Dhaka Tribune that they suspect Hasnat of having links with the Dhaka attack terrorists, based on a number of video footages they have analysed. But no concrete evidence has been found so far.
On Sunday night, Hasnat's wife Sharmina Karim told the Dhaka Tribune that the family still had no idea about what had happened to Hasnat. “We only know that is he is yet to return home,” she said.
Hasnat, who holds dual British-Bangladeshi citizenship, as well as Canadian resident Tahmid Hasib Khan, a student at the University of Toronto, were taken into custody by the Detective Branch of police for interrogation with the rest of the Gulshan attack survivors.
Although the rest of the survivors were later released, Hasnat and Tahmid's families said they had not returned home.
Search for possible ties to Kallyanpur militant
Investigators are also analysing Hasnat's possible connection to Taj-ul-Haque Rasik, one of the militants killed during the recent Kallayanpur raid.
According to Rasik's family, Hasnat visited Rasik's house several times last year. Rasik's father Rabiul Islam said he did not know what the former NSU lecturer discussed with his son, who got his masters degree in engineering from North South University on December 15 last year.
Rasik went missing from home on April 5 this year. However on August 15 last year, Rasik was arrested by Gulshan police for having links with Hizb ut-Tahrir, but was let go after signing a bond.
Officials of DMP's Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) said Rasik was part of the suicide squad that was hiding in the Kallyanpur house.
CTTC chief Monirul Islam said they were still verifying whether the former NSU lecturer played a role in the terror attack, but pointed out that no concrete evidence against him has been found so far.