Police suspect militant link to Ashulia bank robbery

Police also suspect that militants are linked to the incident.

“Robbery was not the main objective. Their aim was to kill and unleash violence,” Dhaka Range Deputy Inspector General SM Mahfuzul Haque Nuruzzaman said on Wednesday, referring to the weapons and explosives used in the raid.

Police arrested two for their alleged links with the heist at the Bangladesh Commerce Bank’s Ahulia branch on Tuesday.

The law enforcers claimed one of those held was involved with the Islami Chhatra Shibir.

State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan also said the militant link to the robbery was being investigated.

Several were injured when eight to 10 robbers hurled bombs while fleeing. They shot and knifed seven dead. A robber was lynched, too.

Almost the entire looted cash of around Tk 700,000 was recovered.

DIG Nuruzzaman told reporters at the Savar Police Station: “I’ve seen many bank robberies, loots. But this incident was different. It was not aimed at robbery, but something different.”

“We don’t think it was done to money,” he said.

According to witnesses, the robbers first wounded a security guard with sharp weapons and then demanded the key to the vault from the manager after placing a bomb on his table.

The manager and two others were killed when the robbers were denied the key.

The robbers fired shots and hurled bombs at the people who gathered outside, killing four others.

The DIG said all the deceased were hacked.

“Nothing like this happened in Bangladesh. There are many examples of mugging, loot and robbery but there is no example of such killings,” he said.

Nuruzzaman also said he had not seen the such weapons and explosives being used in a robbery before.

Referring to RAB’s bomb disposal unit official Maj Khalid, he said ‘improvised devices’ were made by collecting explosives from foreign countries.

“The bombs they charged are ultramodern. These cannot be bought from outside,” he said.

Two of the robbers were caught but others fled.

RAB had earlier said the bombs were very powerful.

The arrested robber, ‘Saiful’, is from Harendrabazar village at Joypurhat’s Panchbibi. Police could not say anything more about him.

Police also arrested one Borhan Uddin following information given by Saiful. Both have been shown arrested in the case filed by the bank.

DIG Nuruzzaman said Borhan is a Shibir activist, the student affiliate of Jamaat-e-Islami.

“His entire family is linked to Shibir. A large number of Jihadi books were recovered from his house in Gazipur,” he said.

Borhan hails from Sankarpasha village of Gopalganj’s Kashiani. He lives at Chandra in Gazipur with his wife and daughter.

Police claimed his wife and daughter fled on Tuesday afternoon after the robbery.

Dhaka Police Superintendent Habibur Rahman said Saiful and Borhan were giving misleading information.

“We prima facie suspect that they are involved in militancy. The preliminary investigation found that the killings in the bank aimed were aimed at sabotage,” he said.

Police also seized four pick-up trucks and a covered-van from Gazipur. They belonged to Borhan, who rented out the vehicles to factories.

He let a driver and his wife live in an adjacent room.

Locals said the wives of Borhan and the driver had left the house saying they were going to the market but did not come back.

Source: Bd news24

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