Café attack victim Faraaz Ayaaz Hossain’s family has expressed satisfaction over the verdict and gratitude to the government for its zero tolerance approach to terrorism.
A Dhaka court yesterday sentenced seven militants to death for their involvement in the 2016 attack. It, however, acquitted another accused.
“We, Faraaz’s family, express our deepest gratitude to the government of Bangladesh for the zero tolerance approach in combatting the scourge of terrorism, with great success,” said Zaraif Ayaat Hossain, brother of Faraaz.
This in turn has galvanised and united the people of Bangladesh in a shared revulsion to terrorism, he said, adding, “We believe that the government’s fight against terrorism and the evils that go with it, will continue to be relentless.
“Today, we are reminded of the terrorist attack on the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1st, 2016, the night we lost our dear Faraaz.”
The Holey Artisan attack, the country’s worst-ever terror incident, had left 20 hostages, including 17 foreigners, killed. Two police officials also got killed after they responded immediately.
On the fateful evening, Faraaz went to the restaurant to meet his friends Abinta Kabir, an American citizen of Bangladesh origin, and Tarishi Jain from India.
The militants had targeted non-Muslims and foreigners.
When they learnt that Faraaz was a Bangladeshi Muslim, they asked him to leave. He wanted to know if his two friends could come with him.
As the militants refused to let the two go, Faraaz chose to stay by their side till the end, according to witnesses who were inside the café during the siege.
Faraaz, 20, son of Simeen Hossain and Waquer Hossain, was a meritorious student of Emory University in Atlanta, USA.
“We are immensely proud of Faraaz for having shown exceptional bravery, strength of character and outstanding values by refusing to abandon his two friends. Even after being told by the terrorists to leave, for being a Bangladeshi Muslim, Faraaz refused to do so and thereby sacrificed his own life to protect his friends. What Faraaz did that night truly exemplifies what Bangladesh stands for,” Zaraif said.
He also expressed deep sorrow for the innocent citizens from Italy, Japan, the US, India and Bangladesh, who lost their lives in the mindless brutality.