Around 5:30am on Wednesday, CTTC officials cordoned off a building in Trimohoni, Shibnagar of Chapainawabganj, suspecting it to be a militant hideout.
According to Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit sources, the house had been rented under the name of Abu Ali, allegedly as a residence for him and his wife.
Suspecting that there were four or five militants inside the hideout, the Dhaka SWAT team was called in.
The SWAT team arrived at the location at 4:50pm.
At around 5pm, prior to the start of Operation Eagle Hunt, Abu Ali’s family attempted to convince him to surrender peacefully.
The militants, however, did not respond except to lob grenades and shoot at SWAT when the team tried to approach the building at 5:30pm. SWAT fired in retaliation before the raid had to be suspended due to low visibility at 8:45pm.
At a 9pm press briefing, CTTC Deputy Commissioner (special action group) Proloy Kumar Joarder announced that operations would be suspended for the day, adding that the raid would resume in the morning today.
“As we have been unable to enter the hideout, we cannot confirm how many militants may be inside,” he told reporters at the briefing.
According to CTTC, police and locals, the owner of the building is Saidur Rahman alias Jentu Biswas. Abu Ali, 30, rented the building in February this year.
Abu, who is originally from Trimohoni in Shibnagar, was a madrasa student. After completing his studies, he took up trade as a spice vendor. During this time, he often conflicted with his parents, Afsar Ali and Fulsana Begum, regarding his overzealous religious ideologies.
Locals said his mother had claimed that Abu had moved out of their home after one such disagreement.
They added that Abu rarely interacted with others outside of his set group of eight to ten friends. These men would often be seen praying together and were also in the habit of observing Eid in accordance with Saudi Arabia.
Locals also alleged that two of Abu’s associates, Mahfuzur Rahman alias Mohon, 28, and Abdus Salam, 35, had been detained by police on Tuesday night.
Police, however, refused to comment on the matter.