The Rapid Action Battalion announced on Sunday that it arrested a fugitive accused in Holey Artisan attack case in a drive at Tongi, on the outskirts of the capital Dhaka.
Dhaka metropolitan magistrate Kanak Barua remanded the arrested, Mamunur Rashid Ripon alias Rezaul Karim Sabuj, in police custody for five days for interrogation case filed with Sabujbagh police station over extremism links.
After his arrest was announced, the battalion claimed at a press conference that banned Islamist outfit Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh was planning to snatch away detained accused in the Holey Artisan attack case.
The battalion’s legal and media wing director Mufti Mahmud Khan, told the press briefing at its media centre at Karwan Bazar that Rashid Ripon was arrested at Broad Bazar of Gazipur at about 11:15pm on Saturday.
Mufti Mahmud said that about Tk 39 lakh, arms and ammunition were brought under the leadership of Rashid Ripon from a neighbouring country for the attack in 2016.
Rashid Ripon hailed from Bogura’s Nandigram upazila was branded by the counter terrorism unit of police as the key arms and explosive supplier and financer for the Gulshan café attack.
The battalion official also seized Tk 1,47,755 in cash from him.
Counter terrorism officials in the Dhaka Metropolitan Police said on many occasions that Rashid Ripon and another JMB faction operative Shariful Islam Khaled, involved in the killing of Rajshahi University teacher Rezaul Karim Siddiquee, went to India few months before the Gulshan café attack possibly to ensure supply of arms for the attack.
Both the JMB leaders left for India in April 2016, few days after the murder of Rezaul Karim.
Six of the accused in the Holey Artisan attack case are now in jail.
On July 1, 2016, a group of armed extremists stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery in the capital’s Gulshan. The incidents left 29 people, including 17 foreigners, two police officials, five suspected extremists, as the attack and hostage crisis ended following a military operation on July 2, 2016.
On July 23, 2018, inspector Humayun Kabir of the counter terrorism division submitted charge sheet to the court of the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate in Dhaka, against eight people and naming 211 people as prosecution witnesses.
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