Verdict in cafe attack has restored Bangla image: Official

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Dhaka, Nov 27 (IANS) Bangladesh’s top law official said on Wednesday that the death penalty handed down to seven of the accused Islamic terrorists for the horrific terror attack in an upscale Dhaka cafe in 2016 has helped restore the image of the country.

Attorney General Mahbubey Alam said the verdict of the anti-terrorism court is a testament to the government’s commitment towards eliminating militancy and establishing the rule of law in the country.

Earlier in the day, an anti-terrorism tribunal handed down the death penalty to seven members of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) for their role in the attack.

Describing the verdict as a “breakthrough” in the fight against extremism, Alam said, “This verdict has proved that our country is able to act swiftly and sincerely against militancy.”

“The incident tarred the country’s image but the verdict has helped restore it.”

The seven convicts — Jahangir Hossain alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Aslam Hossain alias Rashedul Islam alias Rash, Abdus Sabur Khan alias Soheil Mahfuz, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Shariful Islam Khaled alias Khalid and Mamunur Rashid Ripon – were in the court to hear their death penalty.

The eighth accused Mizanur Rahman alias Baro Mizan was acquitted.

On July 1, 2016, the Holey Artisan Bakery and CafA¿ was stormed by five militants.

During the attack, 22 people — 17 foreigners including an Indian — were brutally killed by militants.

Five attackers — Nibras Islam, Rohan Imtiaz, Meer Saameh Mubasser, Khairul Islam and Shafiqul Islam — were killed in the Operation Thunderbolt launched at the bakery on the morning of July 2.

A case was filed with the Gulshan police station under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

After more than two years of investigation, the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) submitted a charge sheet on July 23, 2018. The chargesheet named eight suspected operatives of the banned militant outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The trial began on November 26, 2018, after charges were framed against the eight militants.

Delwar Hossain, the defence counsel, told reporters that they are not satisfied with the lower court’s verdict and will appeal to the higher court against it.

–IANS

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