The prisons and the police authorities apparently traded blame over how two death row convicts in the Holey Artisan attack case managed to wear prayers caps emblazoned with IS logo.
A three-member Department of Prisons committee, formed after the incident, said the caps were handed to the militants at the court.
This contradicts a police-formed committee’s primary finding that the caps were brought from jail.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, head of the three-member committee, Additional Inspector General of Prisons Col Abrar Hossain, said, “There is no chance of collecting the caps from jail ... We analysed CCTV footage and found that there was no negligence on part of the jail staffers.”
He claimed that one of the convicts, Rakibul Hasan Regan, told them that a man in civil dress handed him the cap at the court after the case’s verdict was delivered on Wednesday.
“Though it was their prime responsibility, the police members [who took the militants to the court] did not even carry any handcuffs and helmets that day. We had to lend them those which we use inside the jails,” he said.
In its report, submitted to Inspector General of Prisons Brig Gen AKM Mustafa Kamal Pasha, the committee recommended remaining more careful while dealing with such prisoners.
This correspondent repeatedly tried to contact Mahbub Alam, joint commissioner of the Detective Branch of police and head of the three-member police committee, for comments, but he did not pick up the calls.
On Thursday, he had said they primarily found Regan carried his cap from jail.
“Primarily, we have come to know that from jail he wore the cap outside in, and in the courtroom he wore it inside out,” he said.
A member of the committee, however, said they were yet to confirm the matter and needed more time to verify the information.
As soon as a Dhaka court completed the café attack case judgement delivery on Wednesday, Regan, who was in the dock, wore the cap emblazoned with the emblem of the Islamic State, a global militant outfit.
He still had the cap on when police brought him out of the courtroom and took him to a prison van parked on the court premises. Police personnel who escorted him even did not seize the cap and he boarded the prison van with the cap.
Inside the van, another death row convict Jahangir Hossain alias Rajib Gandhi, was seen wearing a similar cap.
The court sentenced Regan, Jahangir, and five other militants to death for their involvement in the 2016 attack in the capital’s Gulshan, which left 22 people, including 17 foreigners, dead.