Homage was paid to those who were killed in a horrendous attack on Holey Artisan Bakery, a posh restaurant, in the city’s affluent Gulshan neighbourhood five years back.
Members of law enforcers, a number of foreigners and some other people paid tributes by laying wreaths on the bakery premises and the sculpture, Dipto Shopoth, in Gulshan-2 on Thursday.A group of religious fanatics equipped with firearms stormed the restaurant and killed 22 locals and foreign nationals on July 1, 2016. Later, a military commando raid on the restaurant killed five assailants.
People from all social strata have been paying tributes to remember the sacrifices of the victims every year. The fifth anniversary, however, was observed on a limited scale, as the country is under full lockdown.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) led by its Commissioner Md Shafiqul Islam paid tributes to two slain police officers by placing a wreath at the sculpture in the morning. The sculpture was constructed in commemoration of the supreme sacrifices of Assistant Commissioner Rabiul Islam and Officer-in-charge of Banani Police Station Salauddin Khan.
Talking to reporters, Shafiqul Islam said, “Militant activity in our country is now going on online. They are very active in the virtual world. But police are keeping a close watch on their movement.”
In response to a question if there was any apprehension of terror attack, he replied in the negative.
On the other hand, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) led by its Director General Chowdhury Abdullah Al-Mamun paid homage to the victims by placing a floral wreath on the premises.Echoing DMP’s views, he said there is no possibility of militant attack in the country now.
He said that the elite force has taken a tough line with religious bigots and is following a policy of zero tolerance for radicalism. “Members of radical outfits are being arrested as the law enforcers remain vigilant at all times,” he said.
Meanwhile at a press conference at the DMP Media Centre, Additional Commissioner of the DMP Md. Asaduzzaman, also the chief of Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit, said the CTTC conducted a total of 23 high-risk anti-militant operations that killed 63 religious extremists in Dhaka, Narayanganj, Gazipur and other parts of the country.
Under the initiative ‘Smart Approach’, they have succeeded in breaking the militant organisations, he said.
He said investigation officer (IO) Humayun Kabir found involvement of some 21 people in the attack. Of them, 13 suspects were killed in ‘gunfights’ with members of law enforcement agencies.
He said that they have taken various initiatives to raise public awareness about radicalism.
In response to a question if the neo-JMB will formally be banned, he said that the process is underway to ban the group.