• Friday, Oct 18, 2019
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5 of a family held in Dhaka over ‘militant link’; 4 hurt

  • Published at 02:19 pm July 27th, 2019
A team of Anti-Terrorism Unit conduct a drive at a building at Rupnagar residential area on Saturday, July 27, 2019 Collected

An ATU team cordoned off a five-storey building at Rupnagar area around 1:30am on Saturday

Anti-Terrorism Unit (ATU) has arrested five members of a family for their suspected involvement with the banned militant group Ansar al-Islam, popularly known as Ansarullah Bangla team (ABT).

They arrestees are: Ahmed Ali, 57; his wife Salma Ahmed, 50; their son Abu Saleh Mohammad Jakaria, 24; Abu Saleh Mohammad Kibria, 22, and daughter Asma Ferdous Ripa, 26.

Md Moniruzzaman, additional deputy inspector general (DIG) of police, told Dhaka Tribune that based on intelligence information, the ATU team cordoned off a five-storey building at Rupnagar area around 1:30am on Saturday.

Around 2am, police went up to the third floor, and knocked on the door of a flat, asking the suspected militants to open the door. However, getting no response, police broke in, whereupon the residents - all members of the same family - attacked them with sharp weapons. At that time, three police members were injured.

In retaliation, police fired shots at them. Jakaria, one of the members of the family, was injured during the exchange, Moniruzzaman said.  

"When we broke in, we found that the family members had opened a tap inside, and flooded the entire flat," the DIG said. 

"We recovered a few sharp weapons, liquid chemical substances, explosive making materials, and Jihadi books there," he said. 

Jakaria was admitted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH), while the three injured police officials were admitted to Rajarbagh Police Lines Hospital, he added.

Md Moniruzzaman claimed all of them are members of ABT. The entire family is involved with this organization through Jakaria, who does not do anything else in terms of work. 

“We are still investigating the matter,” he said.

A tenant of that building seeking anonymity told the Dhaka Tribune that their family used to live in that building about 12 years ago.

Ahmed Ali is a banker, and has been living there for around 10 years. “But we did not notice any suspicious behaviour,” the tenant said.

“However, the family is very religious. The woman always wear burkas, and does not come in front of man,” he added. 

He also said they heard the firing of shots, but did not hear the blast sound. He was trying to open the door when the raid was conducted, but police told him not to open the door.

“For the time being, police have cordoned off the building. All the other tenants are staying inside their own flats,” he said.