Gulshan attack: Police say Hasanat, Tahmid not with them!

Two suspects, who had been in police custody after the commandos stormed Holey Artisan Bakery to rescue hostages, cannot be traced.

Liton Haiderand Golam Mujtaba
Published : 9 July 2016, 06:17 PM
Updated : 31 July 2016, 07:55 PM

They are former North South University teacher Abul Hasanat R Karim and Tahmid Hasib Khan, a Bangladeshi student, who studies in Canada. 

Both their families have said that they had not returned even eight days after the Jul 1 attack that left 20 hostages dead at the heart of Dhaka’s diplomatic district.  

“Everyone rescued from the Gulshan cafe have been released,” Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Deputy Commissioner Masudur Rahman told on Saturday night. “No one is in police custody.”

An amateur video shot of the cafe during the siege brought Hasanat at the centre of speculation on social media with many asserting that he was linked with the attackers.

North South University reportedly removed him over links with the extremist group Hizb-ut-Tahrir.

Nibras Islam, one of the young Islamist gunmen shot dead by the commandos, had studied at the private university.

Tahmid Hasib Khan is a permanent resident in Canada and studies at the University of Toronto.

Son of businessman Shahriar Khan, his family said he arrived in Dhaka the day before the attack and was in the upscale cafe to have Iftar with his friends. 

The case filed over the terror attack mentions both Hasanat and Tahmid among the 32 persons rescued from the restaurant.

DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said a few days after the attack they were suspects in the investigation. Both were in custody, he told the media on Tuesday.

But while police denied keeping them in custody their families claimed the two were with Detective Branch (DB).

Hasanat’s father Rezaul Karim told on Saturday: “The DB took him away saying they will bring him back home. But we can’t even meet him now.”

He said his son was suffering from a heart disease. “Hasanat is ill. His heart was operated on twice. He must take medicines regularly.”

“We are not sure if he has been able to take his meds,” Hasanat’s father said he will urge the police and DMP chief to provide him the medication.

He said he spoke to lawyers about getting him back but was told that there was nothing they could do if the police do not accuse him in the case.

Meanwhile, Tahmid’s father Abu Lutfe Fazle Rahim Khan, better known as Shahriar Khan, spoke to around noon.

“Keep him as long as necessary if it is for the country… that is not the problem. But it is very important for my son to see a mental health expert.”