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  • Last Update : 03:03 pm

Controversy over IS logo skullcaps continues

  • Published at 12:54 am December 6th, 2019
holey artisanverdict
File photo: Police escort one of the Holey Artisan attack convicts at a Dhaka court premises on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The jail and police authorities have made different statements on this issue

Debate continues to rage around the Islamic State (IS) logo-emblazoned skull caps worn by the two Holey Artisan attack convicts, Rakibul Islam Regan and Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, following their sentencing.

The jail and police authorities have made different statements on this issue.

Although the jail authorities have claimed that the caps with the IS symbol were not supplied from the jail, police however said that the caps had been brought by the convicts from within the jail.

Such claims were made by separate investigation committees.

Meanwhile, Rakibul Islam Regan claimed that someone from among the crowd had passed on the Islamic State logo-emblazoned cap to him while he was going to court.

He made the statement when produced before the Dhaka Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal on Tuesday, for a hearing in a case filed over the Kalyanpur militant raid in 2016.

During the hearing, when Judge Md Majibur Rahman asked Regan from where he had obtained the cap, he replied that someone had passed it on to him from within the crowd.

Regan, however, did not mention anything about the place he had collected it from.

When the judge asked him the reason for wearing the cap, Regan replied: "As the cap was inscribed with Arabic letters, I felt good and wore it."

Despite his statement, police still say that the caps were brought from the jail.

Requesting anonymity, an official linked to an investigative committee said that the committee had examined video footage of the prison and observed that the convicts underwent a search in jail before they were produced in court. At the time, they had on two white caps and a black cap.

But the authorities did not stop them from bringing those caps in thinking they were part of the prisoners’ attire. However, what was written in the fold of the caps could not be confirmed in the footage, added the official.

When asked about Regan’s claims in court that someone had passed it on to him from the crowd, the investigation committee official said: “The militant Regan has given us multiple points of view. He has made different statements on different occasions.”

When asked why the police did not take immediate action even after seeing the cap in the court premises, the official acknowledged it reflected a lack of professionalism or awareness on the part of the police. Police officers present there may not have had an immediate understanding of the cap.

Asked about the matter, DMP Detective Branch (DB) Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam, who heads the DMP's investigation committee, said: “We have almost finished investigating the matter. An inquiry report will be submitted soon.”

Earlier, Additional Inspector General (AIG) of Prisons Colonel Md Abrar Hossain, the head of the jail probe committee, said: “What we found was that those skullcaps were not brought from the prison to the courtroom.

“They were actually supplied by an unknown civilian inside the courtroom,” he added.

Cap still missing

Meanwhile, the infamous IS caps could not be recovered by the police since the day of the incident.

On November 28, Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Mustafa Kamal told Dhaka Tribune: "We could not find any caps when the convicts were taken back to prison."

For his part, Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam said they could not seize the caps.

"They [the convicts] might have flung the caps out of the prison van," he added.

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