Seven militants to walk gallows for Holey Artisan attack

Publish: 6:13 PM, November 27, 2019 | Update: 6:13:PM, November 27, 2019

DHAKA,  – A special tribunal here today sentenced seven out of total eight accused to death in a case lodged over horrific militant attack on the capital’s Holey Artisan Bakery in 2016, that claimed lives of 20 innocent people, most of them foreigners.

Judge Md Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal came up with the short judgement at around 12.15pm in presence of the accused in the crowded courtroom. Earlier the judge started reading out the judgement at 12.05 pm.

The seven death-row-convicts are – Jahangir Hossain alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Rashedul Islam alias Aslam Hossain alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohel Mahfuz, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Shariful Islam and Mamunur Rashid.

The tribunal acquitted Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan from the charge framed under section 6 (2) (a) of Anti-Terrorism Act 2009. “Let them be hanged by the neck till they are dead,” the court ordered. The tribunal also fined the convicts Taka 50 thousand each.

It convicted Jahangir Hossain alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Rashedul Islam alias Aslam Hossain alias Rash, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohel Mahfuz and Shariful Islam Khaled under section 7 of the Anti-Terrorirsm Act 2009 and sentenced them to 10-year imprisonment and fined them Taka 10 lakh each.

The court found Jahangir Hossain alias Rajib Gandhi, Rashedul Islam alias Aslam Hossain alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Sohel Mahfuz, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Shariful Islam Khaled and Mamunur Rashid guilty under section 8/9 of the Anti-Terrorirsm Act 2009, and sentenced them to five-year imprisonment and fined them Taka 10 thousand.

The tribunal in its observation said Tamim Chowdhury was the mastermind behind the attack and he coordinated the whole incident.

“Members of neo-JMB carried out the monstrous attack to create fear among the people and draw attention of international militant organization IS,” the court said.

Earlier the jail authorities brought the eight to the court at around 10.15 am from Keraniganj Central Jail and kept them in judge court lockup with
extra security in and around the court premises. They were taken to courtroom at around 11.50am.

Two archways had been set up at the entrance of the courtroom, on the fourth-floor of Dhaka Metropolitan Sessions Judge Court building, with extra
vigil from different law enforcing agencies. Two other archways were set up at the main gate of the building.

Journalists and lawyers were allowed to enter the courtroom only after 11.30am following thorough screening. All the makeshift shops around the
court premises were kept closed today as police barred to park vehicles and motorbikes inside.

In the initial reaction, Dhaka metropolitan public prosecutor Abdullah Abu welcomed the verdict, saying it would play an important role in curbing
militancy in the country.

Kariman Nesa, mother of assistant police commissioner Mohammad Rabiul Karim, who was martyred on that day, expressed satisfaction over the
judgement and wants the death sentence to be executed soon.

Rabiul’s brother Shamsuzzaman too expressed his satisfaction over the judgement, saying this verdict will lessen the pain of millions of people in
the country.

He also put presses on quick execution of the judgement. Prosecutor Golam Sarwar Khan Zakir said they would take decision on filing appeal against court’s order acquitting Mizanur Rahman in a charge.

Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal came up with judgement, almost three and a half years after the grisly militant attack on upscale caf, in
capital’s Gulshan area on July 1, 2016.

The Tribunal judge on November 17 set today to pass verdict in the case as both prosecution and defence concluded their arguments in the case on that day.

A total of 113 out of 211 witnesses have testified in the case. Two police officials valiantly laid down their lives while trying to save people during the militant attack. Later, five militants, Rohan Ibn Imtiaj, Mir Sameh Mobassher, Nibras Islam, Shafikul Islam alias Uzzal and Khairul Islam alias Payel, were killed in a commando operation.

Police filed the case under the anti-terror act with Gulshan Police Station. The trial was initiated on November 26, 2018 by framing charges
against the eight accused.