Home minister not ruling out police negligence over death-row militants' escape from custody

Describing the convicts as top-level militants, Khan said their escape from the court premises was at least two weeks in the making

Senior Correspondentbdnews24.com
Published : 21 Nov 2022, 07:43 AM
Updated : 21 Nov 2022, 07:43 AM

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan says there may have been some neglect of duty on the part of the police after two militants on death row escaped from law enforcers with the help of a few associates.

“It was a coordinated effort launched by the criminals after surveying the area. They will be brought to book after an investigation,” the minister said on Monday.

On Sunday, Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir and Abu Siddique Sohel alias Shakib were heading to a courtroom in Dhaka to testify in a case when they suddenly sprayed some chemicals in the eyes of the policemen escorting them before being whisked away by their cohorts.

Sohel and Moinul were given the death penalty over their involvement in the killings of writer-blogger Avijit Roy and publisher Faysal Arefin Dipan.

The incident caused a stir as police issued a red alert while declaring a Tk 2 million reward for leads on the convicts' whereabouts.

A case was also filed over the incident while the Dhaka Metropolitan Police formed a five-strong committee to find out what caused it.

Briefing reporters about the matter, Khan said investigators are looking into the possibility of any negligence by the police as the 'top-level' militants were escorted to the court by just a single constable.

“There was a [security] lapse alongside other factors that caused the incident. It was planned at least 10 to 15 days earlier and conducted after practice.”

Meanwhile, police have identified Syed Ziaul Haque, a fugitive criminal, as the mastermind behind the escape of the two militants.

Ziaul, who was dismissed by the army, is the head of the banned militant outfit Ansar al-Islam's military wing, according to law enforcement. Sohel and Moinul belong to the same organisation.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher