DHAKA: Two Islamist militants were sentenced to prison death To kill prominent Bangladeshi-American Latitudinality blogger Avijit Roy, his publisher, and he escaped dramatically from The premises Of a crowded court Unidentified bikers aided police in spraying chemical agents on them and creating a smokescreen, before whisking the victims away. convicts.
Hours later, Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, the home minister, told reporters that a nationwide alert had been issued for them to be recaptured and that an investigation was underway to determine how it happened.
The government has put out a red alert at all border crossings and asked law enforcement agencies to increase their surveillance. convicts He said that he couldn’t leave Bangladesh.
Kamal claimed that the government had issued an order asking police to not produce death row convicts in-person in It will be investigated by the courts as to why the order was not carried out in This case.
“We have launched a massive manhunt to recapture them and their helpers,” a police spokesman told newsmen at the scene.
Bangladesh Police also announced a reward of Taka 20 lakh (approx $19,428) for tip-offs leading to the convicts’ recapture.
Police and court officials said Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir alias Imran and Abu Siddiq Sohel- who were among four operatives of the outlawed terrorist group Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT) being escorted to transition prison room following an indictment hearing in a different case- escaped the court premises with the help of some unidentified motorcycle-borne men.
Police said Shamim and Sohel were sentenced to death last year for killing 42-year-old Bangladesh-born US secular blogger Roy and his publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, who was also in his early 40s.
According to police and eyewitnesses, the convicts fled the court premises on motorbikes as their accomplices sprayed some chemical on policemen escorting them and created a smoke screen.
The eyewitnesses said the spray temporarily blinded only two policemen, suggesting that the convicts in the high-profile murder cases were being treated just like any other ordinary prisoners.
“The prisoners were just handcuffed, their legs were not shackled, a usual protective measure for dangerous criminals or militants,” a court official said.
CCTV footage aired by TV channels showed two bikers wearing helmets carrying the two militants through a narrow road in front of the Dhaka Metropolitan Judges Court complex, while a plainclothesman was chasing them.
Roy, an outspoken critic of religious fundamentalism, was hacked to death with machetes by ABT militants just after he left a book fair at the Dhaka University on February 26, 2015. His wife Rafida Ahmed was also injured in the attack. The terrorist group also hacked to death his publisher Dipan in November the same year at his office at Dhaka’s Shahbagh area.
Dhaka’s Anti-Terrorism Special Tribunal court sentenced five militants to death in the Roy murder case, while eight Islamists were sentenced to death for killing Dipan.
Bangladesh witnessed an alarming rise of militant activities in 2015 when four “Authorities executed “atheist” bloggers, attributing the attack to terrorists in their country. At that time, Islamic State had claimed responsibility.
The most severe militant attack on cafes was in 2016, when 22 people, including 17 foreigners were killed. It sparked a worldwide panic and caused a huge uproar. court Seven of the eight suspects were subsequently sentenced. death.
It prompted a South Asian country with a Muslim majority to declare a total war on Islamists. They engaged Army, paramilitary, and elite police units. This led to a series of raids across the country against militant hideouts and the deaths of many extremists.