How long does it take to file an autopsy report in a case that is vital to national security and foreign relations? The general consensus may be from a week to a month at most. But authorities in Bangladesh in the grandest defiance of convention and urgency have filed the autopsy reports of the five Holey Artisan Bakery attackers and one suspect after exactly one year.
The delay, as claimed by the authorities, was due to long waits for reports from the FBI and Indian investigation agencies. It was surmised these reports would provide the autopsy report with additional information.
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On July 1, 2016, five heavily-armed militants took over the upscale cafe near Dhaka’s diplomatic zone. The militants who claimed to be affiliated with international terrorist syndicate IS killed 20 people and held others hostage till the next morning.
The autopsy report was submitted to the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of the police around 1:30pm Saturday by Dr Sohel Mahmud, head of the forensic department of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Sohel told the Bangla Tribune: “We have found an average of 2-3 gunshot wounds on the six bodies. Two of the bodies bore wounds inflicted by explosives. But, we could not ascertain if the injuries were caused by their grenades or law enforcement agencies.”
When asked what caused the delay, the forensic doctor replied: “The FBI and some Indian investigation agencies had asked to borrow some samples from us. We were waiting for their reports to come in. Since they never sent us their reports, we went forward to complete ours this past Thursday.
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After the attack, questions arose as to how a handful of people had the temerity to execute 20 people in such barbaric fashion. Several reports alleged that IS-affiliated attackers were hopped up on an amphetamine-based drug called Captagon.
Dr Sohel was asked about the toxicology of the autopsied people. He responded with a negative, saying no trace of chemicals was found in their system.
The autopsy report of the victims was filed within a scant three weeks after the attack on June 19, 2016. The report filed Saturday was conducted on Khairul Islam Payel, Shafiqul Islam Ujjal, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubassher and Nibras Islam – the five attackers and Saiful Islam, who was the pizza chef at Holey Artisan Bakery.