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2 years on from Panthapath hotel attack: Charge sheet sent to home ministry for approval

  • Published at 01:34 am August 15th, 2019
Hotel Olio Dream-Bomb blast-Syed Zakir Hossain
A member of law enforcement agency examines the scene after a bomb blast took place at Hotel Olio International at Panthapath in Dhaka on August 15, 2017 Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

All of the accused were active members of New JMB

Two years after a militant detonated a bomb at the Hotel Olio International in Dhaka’s Panthapath on National Mourning Day, the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit is nearly ready to submit the charge sheet for the case in the matter.

At a press briefing on Saturday, CTTC Chief, Additional Commissioner Monirul Islam, said the charge sheet has been sent to the Home Ministry for approval, following which it will be placed before the court.

He also said that 14 people have been accused in the charge sheet, with 10 of them having already delivered confessional statements in court. Militant Saiful Islam has not been named among the accused as he died when he detonated the bomb.

The 14 accused are: Akram Hossain Khan Niloy, his parents Abu Turab Khan and Sadia Hosna Lucky, sister Tazrin Khanom Shuvo, Tanvir Yasin Karim, Tanvir’s wife Humayra Jakir alias Nabila, Abdullah alias Aichan Kabiraj alias Rafik, Abul Kashem Fakir alias Abu, Nazmul Hasan Mamun, Md Tajul Islam alias Choton alias Mohammad alias Fahim, Tarek Mohammad alias Adnan, Lulu Sarder alias Shahid, Kamrul Islam Khan alias Shakil, and Abdullah. 

Sources said Niloy, Nabila, Abu Turab, and Lulu Sarder are the only accused who are yet to give confessional statements. Nabila, Abu Turab, Sadia, Tajrin, and Tanvir are currently on bail.    

All of the accused were active members of New JMB.

Motive

Saiful, 21, a member of New JMB, blew himself up on August 15 at Hotel Olio International on Panthapath, only about 300m away from the Bangabandhu Memorial Museum.

The incident took place just three hours after President Md Abdul Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and other high-ups of the government paid their respects to Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman at the museum in Dhanmondi on National Mourning Day. 

The National Mourning Day procession was the bomber’s target, but he was forced to detonate early when the CCTC unit cordoned off the hotel after learning of a possible attack.

According to CTTC unit chief Monirul, law enforcement agencies intensified anti-terrorism operations after the Holey Artisan Bakery attack on July 1, 2016. Cornered by the anti-militancy drives, New JMB had planned the attempted attack on the National Mourning Day procession with the aim of gaining publicity and attracting new recruits.  

The charges and arrests

According to investigating officers, Niloy, who was the chief New JMB then, planned the attack and instructed Saiful to take up position at the hotel. The militants used the Dark Web and a Telegram channel to communicate amongst themselves.

A day before the CTTC raid at the Hotel Olio International, the outfit's explosives expert, suspect Mamun, supplied explosives to Saiful in the city's Abdullahpur area. Later, Saiful checked into the hotel with a suicide vest to carry out an attack on the crowd joining the August 15 memorial.

Niloy was the mastermind of the blast, while Tanvir, Abu Turab, Sadia, Humayira, and Tazreen were financiers, Monir said, adding that Nabia, Abu Turab, Sadia, Tazreen, and Niloy came from the same family.

"This whole family was engaged in militancy," the police official said.

Abdullah, Kamrul and Tareque, and Abdullah alias Aichan, face charges of cooperating with and sheltering the militants, said Monirul.