Two women, witnesses to Gulshan cafe attack, testify in Dhaka court

Two women, who were hostages during the July 1 terror attack on an upscale Gulshan cafe, have deposed in court as witnesses.

Published : 14 August 2016, 05:07 PM
Updated : 14 August 2016, 05:10 PM

Fairooz Maliha and Tahana Tasmia gave their accounts of the attack in the courts of Metropolitan Magistrates SM Masud Jaman and Satyabrata Shikdar, respectively, under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure on Sunday.

"They said they had gone to Holey Artisan Bakery on that day for iftar. Then they were taken hostage after the militant attack," court police's Sub-Inspector Farid Mia said.

Earlier, nine other witnesses had testified in court.

They are Holey Artisan's cashier Al Amin Chowdhury Sezan, employees Miraz Hossain and Rasel Masud, chefs Md Shahin, 'Shahriar', 'Tuhin' and 'Shishir', Indian national Satya Prakash and Based Sardar, driver of the murdered Japanese consultants for the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) who worked in the Dhaka Metrorail project.

Five gunmen had stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery and O' Kitchen inside Dhaka diplomatic zone at night and took all the people inside them hostage.

Two police officers died after being injured in bomb blasts carried out by the attackers when they had approached the eatery. The militants killed 20 hostages, 17 of them foreigners, throughout the night.

Middle East-based terror group Islamic State had reportedly claimed credit for the attack, but security officials say banned militant outfit JMB was behind the deadly siege.

After a 12-hour siege, army commandoes stormed the restaurant on Jul 2 morning and rescued 13 hostages, including Maliha and Tasmia.

All five terrorists were killed during the counterstrike.

One of the freed hostages, former North South University teacher Hasanat Karim, has been shown arrested in Gulshan police’s case over the terror attack which is being investigated by Dhaka Metropolitan Police's counter-terrorism unit.

Hasanat and Tahmid Hasib Khan, another rescued hostage, are currently being questioned in police custody for their 'suspicious roles' during the attack.