Formed by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) soon after the incident, the probe committee submitted their findings to the DMP Commissioner’s Office
A probe committee report has blamed poor management, inefficiency of police officials, and involvement in an intra-party feud for the bomb explosion at Pallabi police station on July 29, which injured five people including four police personnel.
Formed by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) soon after the incident, the probe committee submitted their findings to the DMP Commissioner’s Office on Monday following a week-long investigation.
Sources told Dhaka Tribune that police officials from DMP’s Mirpur division, including the deputy commissioner (DC), failed to handle the explosive properly and did not even inform the Bomb Disposal Unit of Detective Branch (DB) or the Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit right after the recovery.
However, DMP Additional Commissioner Krishna Pada Roy on July 29 told the media that police called the bomb disposal unit as the weighing machine looked suspicious. A member of the bomb disposal unit came to the station and analysed the device. Later, he sought help from a member of the unit specializing in defusing bombs and asked him to come to the station with a few more tools.
The probe committee also found that the three people who were arrested by police, from the Kalshi area of Mirpur, with the bomb were actually followers of local Juba League leader Jewel Rana.
The sources also said the arrestees told the probe body that no bombs were recovered from them, and alleged that Pallabi police was trying to stage a drama of recovering explosives and firearms from them in support of rival group leader and local councillor Tazul Islam Bappy.
A DMP official said Juba League leader Jewel Rana and the councillor Bappy were in conflict over extortion and garment waste items business.
However, it is not immediately clear whether the arms and bomb were actually recovered or was just a drama, but evidence of Mirpur division police favouring the local councillor has been found.
However, family members of three arrestees alleged that they were picked up a few days before the blast.
DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam confirmed that he did receive the report from probe body, but was yet to go through the details.
On July 29, Pallabi police station OC Nazrul Islam (transferred) told Dhaka Tribune that a police team recovered a bomb, which was hidden inside a digital weighing machine commonly used in general stores, during an operation in Pallabi's Kalshi area early on the day. Three local criminals were also arrested during the operation.
The bomb accidentally went off when the policemen tried to defuse it at the police station, he claimed.
The injured were Inspector (Operation) Imran, Sub-Inspector (SI) Sajib, Provisional Sub Inspectors (PSI) Rumi and Ankush, and a civilian named Riaz. All the injured were initially admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) for treatment.
The incident took place against the backdrop of recent intelligence reports suggesting the members of New JMB, who follow Islamic State (IS) ideology, would try to carry out attacks in Bangladesh, including against police establishments, ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
However, the authorities concerned have denied the involvement of militants in the incident and suspect that it was the work of local criminal groups.
DMP Additional Commissioner Krishna Pada Roy said on July 29: “Recently, a group of criminals have been committing different crimes in the Mirpur region. A team, led by the Mirpur DC, was trying to nab them for several days.
''Acting on a tip-off, Pallabi police arrested three members of the group near Kalshi cemetery at around 2am, while the other members managed to flee. The trio had firearms, four bullets, and a device that looked like a weighing machine in their possession.''
A day after the blast, DMP formed a three member probe body headed by its Joint Commissioner (operations) Monir Hossain.
Following primary investigation, DMP Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam transferred Mirpur division DC Mostak Ahmed, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) Md Mizanur Rahman, Pallabi zone Assistant Commissioner (AC) Firoz Kawsar, Nazrul Islam, officer-in-charge (OC) of Pallabi police station, Inspector (Investigation) Mohammad Abdul Mabud and Inspector (Operation) Mohammad Emranul Islam to other units.
Meanwhile, six police officers were transferred to Mirpur division at the posts.