As the country is set to observe the third anniversary of its history’s deadliest terror attack at capital’s Holey Artisan Cafe on July 1 2016, the prosecution of the case lodged over that massacre is hopeful that the trial will complete soon with the prompt appearance of prosecution witnesses on every hearing date.
“A total of 60 prosecution witnesses so far have testified in the case in the seven months since the framing of charges. The witnesses are appearing before the court on every scheduled date and we hope that the case will be disposed of soon,” prosecutor Jahangir Alam Chowdhury told state news agency BSS on Sunday.
The prosecutor said they are hopeful that the accused will get maximum punishment in the case. Militants killed 20 innocent people, most of them foreigners, in the grisly attack as they laid siege to the upscale cafe, which ended with ‘Operation Thunderbolt’ of Bangladesh Army. Five attackers killed in the commando operation were Rohan Ibne Imtiaj, Mir Sameh Mobassher, Nibrash Islam, Shafikul Islam alias Uzzal and Khairul Islam alias Payel.
Two police officials valiantly laid down their lives while trying to save people stranded in the cafe. Police filed the case under the anti-terror act with Gulshan Police Station. The trial initiated on November 26, 2018 by framing charges against eight accused- Jahangir Alam alias Rajib Gandhi, Rakibul Hasan Regan, Rashedul Islam alias Rash, Sohel Mahfuz, Mizanur Rahman alias Boro Mizan, Hadisur Rahman Sagar, Shariful Islam and Mamunur Rashid.
The case is now currently pending with Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal and Judge Md Mujibur Rahman of the tribunal is scheduled to hear the case on July 2. “The main 13 accused in the case have already been killed in different operations of the law enforcement agencies. The eight accused, who are now facing the trial, are shadow accused. No witnesses so far have named them in their testimonies. I hope my clients will get acquittal,” defence counsel Faruk Ahammed said.
The other accused who have already been killed in different operations of the law enforcement agencies are- Tamim Ahammed Chowdhury, Nurul Islam Marjan, Tanvir Qaderi, Md (retd) Jahidul Islam alias Murad, Raihan Kabir Tarek, Sarwar Jahan Manik, Basharuzzaman alias Chocolate and Mizanur Rahman alias Choto Mizan.