Bangladesh arrests man tied to death-row militants’ escape

Police say the 24-year-old man is a member of the banned group Ansar Al Islam

Published : 23 Nov 2022, 01:12 PM
Updated : 23 Nov 2022, 01:12 PM

Police’s counterterrorism unit has arrested a man with suspected ties to the daring escape of two death-row militants from a crowded court area in Dhaka.

The 24-year-old suspect, Mehedi Hasan Omi alias Rafi, is allegedly a member of the banned group Ansar Al Islam.

A native of Sylhet, Mehedi was named in a case over the incident, said Md Faruk Hossain, a spokesman for the Dhaka Metropolitan Police.

The convicted militants fled the court premises by motorcycle with the help of their associates on Sunday. Two other convicts were captured at the scene.

Police issued a red alert and declared Tk 2 million rewards for information leading to their capture.

One of the escaped militants, Abu Siddique Sohel alias Shakib Sohel, was sentenced to death over the murders of writer-blogger Avijit Roy and his publisher Faysal Arefin Dipan. The other convict, Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir, was given the death penalty over Dipan’s murder.

They escaped after the court hearing of another case, in which Mehedi was an accused. He was on bail and went to the court on Sunday for the hearing.

Idi Amin, another suspect on bail in the case, was also named over the escape of the militants.

Police alleged Moshiur Rahman alias Ayman led the operation to free the militants on instructions from their fugitive leader Syed Ziaul Haque alias Major Zia, a sacked army officer.