Held Huji men tightlipped
The case of bomb blast on a rally of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) at Paltan Maidan has put investigators into a state of confusion as Harkatul Jihad al Islami (Huji) operatives have stopped divulging any further information about their link to the blast.
Officials at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) which is investigating the case said they were hopeful about making a breakthrough in the investigation a couple of years back as some Huji operatives hinted that the outfit had a link to the blast.
Investigators, on the basis of information gleaned from arrestees, started their reinvestigation and the final report was submitted in 2003. The report failed to mention names of masterminds behind the grisly attack.
Eleven Huji operatives including its operation commander Mufti Abdul Hannan were shown arrested in the case in 2006 and interrogated intensively in remand.
Investigators, however, failed to get enough information from arrested militants about their involvement in the gruesome blast that left five persons killed and over 50 others injured.
"We started investigation on a high hope on the basis of some primary information about the link of Huji responsible for many deadly grenade and bomb blasts across the country but finally we did not find enough evidence," said a top CID investigator wishing not to be named.
Investigation Officer (IO) of the case CID Inspector Motiur Rahman said, "We're yet to ascertain who were behind the plot and why the blast was carried out.”
Motiur who took the charge from the erstwhile IO seven months back also said he had already collected video footages of the CPB rally for screening.
Statements of a number of CPB leaders and those who suffered injuries in the carnage had also been collected, he added.
All hell broke loose on January 20, 2001 as a powerful bomb, believed to have been planted earlier, went off at the rally leaving five people dead and 50 others injured.
The dead were CPB leaders Himangshu Mondol of Batiaghata upazila in Khulna district, Abdul Majid of Rupsha upazila of the same district, Latif Bawani Jute Mill unit CPB leader Abul Hossain Hashem, Khulna BL College unit Chhatra Union leader Bipra Das and Moktar Hossain Badal from Madaripur.
Following the blast CPB President Manjurul Ahsan Khan filed a case with the Motijheel Police Station saying a group of anti-state conspirators made the attack.
Police arrested 12 people at that time but the CID submitted the final report on December 17, 2003 virtually bringing the investigation to an end.
The arrestees are Shaheen, Didar, Din Mohammad alias Dilu, Mamun, Alamgir, Anwar Hosain, Habibur Rahman, Abul Hossain, Moktar Hossain, Mostafizur Rahman, Moshiur Rahman and Shakhawat Hossain.
Arrestees mainly people like street vendors were released later.
The CID sources said the final report was submitted, as correct, impartial and reliable pieces of evidence were not available to prove the charges against the arrestees.