After a Dhaka tribunal delivered the verdict in the Holey Artisan Café attack case today, one of death row convicts reached into his pocket and brought out a prayer cap emblazoned with the emblem of the Islamic State.
The convict Rakibul Hasan Regan then put the cap on, amid shouts of “Allahu Akbar” from the other convicts, our correspondent who was present at the courtroom said.
That singular moment symbolic of the arrogant unrepentance of the convicts raised some questions.
How did Regan bring the cap into the court? No one, not even law enforcers, have an answer.
Jafar Hossain, deputy commissioner (prosecution division) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, told The Daily Star, “We are scrutinising CCTV and media footages to know where Regan got the cap from during the verdict announcement.
“We don’t know from where or how he collected the tupi [prayer cap],” he said, adding, they would examine the footages and then take action in this regard.
Mahbubul Islam, jailer of Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj, said, “We handed them over to the representative of detectives and SB [Special Branch] of police after searching them. We have all the video footages which show that they left without having any such caps on them.”
He also said there was no scope of collecting the cap from within the prison.
Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen Mustafa Kamal Pasha said, “We have formed a three-member committee led by the additional IG of prisons to investigate the matter. The committee has been asked to submit their report within five days.
Meanwhile, Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime Unit chief Monirul Islam, said, “IS does not make any such caps. We are looking into the matter.”
Seven militants were sentenced to death for their involvement in the 2016 Holey Artisan Café attack that left 22 people, including 17 foreigners, dead.
GOVT TO ENQUIRE ABOUT IT: LAW MINISTER
Law Minister Anisul Huq has said the government would conduct an enquiry over how a death row convict carried a cap sporting the Islamic State logo to the courtroom.
"I will get information about this matter and talk to the authorities concerned for [starting] an enquiry," Anisul Huq said at a press briefing at the conference room of the law ministry in Dhaka.
Meanwhile, the minister expressed satisfaction over the verdict and said that the government would take necessary steps for quickly preparing the paper book of the case for the High Court hearing on the death reference and appeal.
He said the government had taken steps to quickly finish the trial proceedings of sensational murder cases, including the Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder case.
Replying to a question, the minister said the paper book of the August 21 grenade attack case and Nusrat Jahan Rafi murder case would be prepared by December 31 this year and January 31 next year, so that the HC can hold the case hearings soon.
CONDUCTED THOROUGH SEARCH ON THEM: JAILOR
There is no scope for a prisoner to collect such tupi in the jail, Mahbubul Islam, jailor of Dhaka Central Jail in Keraniganj, told The Daily Star.
The jail authorities have handed the prisoners over to representatives of Detective Branch after conducting a thorough search on them, he said.