Memory of Sholakia attack haunts people

Published : 06 Jul 2023 09:22 PM

On this day seven years ago, while an entire nation was recovering from the shock of the biggest-ever terror attack in the heart of Bangladesh’s capital, Islamic State (IS)-inspired extremists took their last hard bite at an Eid congregation in Kishoreganj.

Seven armed extremists attacked a police check-post to make their way into the main Eid congregation, resulting in an hour-long gunfight that left two police constables, one woman and an attacker dead. 

The Eid day attack amid a heavy presence of police and devotees was revealing of the growing danger from emerging terrorist groups. 

About half an hour before morning prayers were to begin, a group of men approached a police checkpoint at a high school near the prayer ground and set off a bomb, said Tofazzal Hossain, an assistant superintendent of the Kishoreganj police. “They attacked the police out of nowhere,” said Mr. Hossain, who added that some of the attackers had been carrying guns and bladed weapons.

Six other officers were seriously wounded, said a police inspector, Mueid Chowdhury, but they were expected to survive. Several civilians were also hurt.

The police killed one of the attackers and arrested two others, Mr. Hossain said. A search was underway for the other assailants.

The Sholakia incident came a week after the Gulshan café attack in Dhaka on Jul 1 last year.

Police arrested Rajib on Feb 26 in cases filed over 23 militant attacks across the country.

He was taken back to Kishoreganj District Jail after the hearing.

The memory continues to haunt the collective consciousness of the country reminding us of the profound loss suffered by the victims' loved ones.

Locals and victims’ families demanded continuous drives and efforts to contain militants activities in Bangladesh while praising the government's success in anti-militant drives.