Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has arrested 10 people from different parts of Dhaka over suspected links with the militants responsible for the Holey Artisan attack on July 1 last year.
The detainees were paraded in front of the media on Monday at the elite force's media centre in Dhaka's Karwan Bazar.
The arrestees are Shariful Islam, 46, Mizanur Rahman, 43, Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, 31, Abu Sadat Mohammad Sultan Al Razi alias Liton, 41, Al Mizanur Rashid, 41, Jannatul Mahal alias Jinnah, 60, Mohammad Koushik Adnan Sobhan, 37, Meraz Ali, 30, Mufti Abdur Rahman Bin Ataullah, 37, and Shahriar Wazed Khan, 36.
Of the detainees, Shariful and Mizanur are former and incumbent principals of the Uttara Life School, which recently come under spotlight after it was revealed that the institution was a hot spot for militants allegedly involved in the terrorist attacks in the posh Gulshan eatery and Sholakia Eidgah on the Eid-ul-Fitr day last year.
Confirming their arrests, RAB’s Additional Director General (operation) Col Anwar Latif Khan said the detainees were picked up from Kalabagan and Uttara areas early Monday.
Col Anwar alleged that these 10 persons, along with the militants who frequented the school, were involved in attempts of spreading jihadist ideology among the students and their guardians.
A prominent militant leader, Moinul Islam, more commonly known as Musa, was a teacher of the school. Musa is yet to be arrested.
Two other slain militant leaders, Maj (retd) Murad and Tavir Quadri, used to frequent the school, according to sources.
Col Anwar, however, claimed that these 10 persons were not involved in any militant operation, rather they were more involved in reconnaissance and recruitment efforts.
Meanwhile, Shariful's wife alleged that some men in plain-clothes, without identifying themselves, picked up her husband and and nephew, Mohammad Ziaur Rahman, on early Monday morning from their residence.
While talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Sonia Alam also said Uttara police refused to file a general diary in this connection. However, she could not confirm which Uttara police station she approached. There are two police stations in Uttara – Uttara (east) police station and Uttara (west) police station.
She, however, admitted that police advised her to get in touch with RAB and the Detective Branch headquarters.