Judgment on Holey Artisan case: Bangladesh advances another step forward

Swadesh Roy
Published : 17:25, Nov 28, 2019 | Updated : 18:15, Nov 28, 2019

Swadesh RoyA special court of Bangladesh gave a historical verdict on Nov 27 that helps Bangladesh take another step forward. It was the case of terrorist attack at the Holey Artisan cafe in Gulshan, a posh area of Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. The court delivered their historical verdict that convicted seven New JMB terrorists and awarded them death sentence by gallows. Through this judgment, Bangladesh has proved that not only it is taming the Islamic terrorists through the police or special police but it is also fully able to try Islamic terrorists.
No doubt, not only the police of Bangladesh but also the whole world’s eyes were on this case because it was the first organized terrorist attack in Bangladesh where terrorists claimed themselves as the member of Islamic state. At one stage during their terrorist operation, the Islamic State's official news agency Amaq even published pictures of the terrorists as heroes armed with their tag.
The attack happened on Jul 1 of 2016 at 8:45 in the evening. At first, police couldn’t understand that it was an organized Islamic terrorist attack. They thought it was a normal case of hijacking. So, the patrolling police rushed there immediately but two policemen were seriously wounded by a grenade attack of the terrorists. Afterwards, the then police commissioner of Dhaka, Asaduzzaman Mia, quickly reached there and ordered the counter attack targeting the terrorists who were throwing grenades. By then he understood it was not a normal attack. Then, he called the Prime Minister of Bangladesh and informed her, as he changed the strategy.
Policemen sneak a look inside the Holey Artisan Bakery and the O`Kitchen Restaurant as others inspect the site after gunmen attacked, in Dhaka, Bangladesh, July 3, 2016. REUTERS/File PhotoIn the meantime, the situation of Dhaka city was very tense. It was a different night for the dwellers of Dhaka as well as for the government officials. Reporters of the media rushed to the spot. The TV reporters made same mistake as the Indian reporters did during Mumbai Taj Hotel Attack. They started live telecast of the activities of the police and the elite police. The chief of elite police Benazir Ahmed, took A very intelligent decision. He stopped the live telecast of ongoing preparation. Under these circumstances, Dhaka dwellers kept their eyes on TV screen and their smart phone’s screen. Reporters were delivering the reports they were getting. Above all, the residence of the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Gonobhaban, became another main spot for journalists. Within A short time, the chief of the police and the armed forces along with the Director Generals of all intelligent departments rushed to Gonobhaban. But their discussions and preparations were confidential. Journalists couldn’t gather the details. But the night was simultaneously going towards dawn in the Dhaka city and the tension was rising. Dhaka became a silent city within 10 of that night. But people couldn’t sleep either. At 3 O’clock, a Para-Commando team of the armed forces joined with the police, elite police along with the detective police forces.
The Islamic terrorists got enough time and killed 20 people inside the restaurant. Among them 9 were Italian, 7 Japanese, 1 Indian and 3 Bangladeshi. Beside this, terrorists killed 2 policemen earlier with grenade.
The operation of the police and armed forces was very planned and successful. Within 13 minutes, they completed their work. The fight ended quickly and they killed all six terrorists and rescued 13 people without being hurt.
One of the convicts of Holey Artisan Bakery attack is led to the court in Dhaka on Nov 27, 2019. Sazzad HossainThis successful operation made the dwellers of Dhaka city and Bangladeshi citizens happy. Conversely, the citizens of Bangladesh were shocked when they came to know about the identity of the six Islamic terrorists. Before this, it was a common concept in Bangladesh that terrorist means the students of Islamic schools which are called Madrasah. But all six terrorists of the Holy Artisan attack were the sons of well-off families and they were students of English Medium Schools and colleges. It was a major revelation for the middle class Bangladeshis. They started giving more attention to their children. The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, gave a speech to the nation. She appealed to people to look after their children’ more attentively. Thousand years’ of history says that no extremism can build up among Bangladehis. They always abhor all types of extremism. They played a vital role for overthrowing Pakistan because Pakistani tried to make them radical.
Given this context, the police force and elite police forces got more help from the people of Bangladesh for continuing their operations against Islamic terrorists. Within 10-12 months, police and elite police have undertaken at least 19 operations. In those operations, a total of 56 terrorists including 5 women were killed. As a result, Islamic terrorism is no more a major threat in Bangladesh. The opinion of one police officer is, they couldn’t make it in zero count because of the global situation of this matter. All over in the Muslim world, Islamic terrorism is a constant process. Besides, some powerful countries are helping them.
To be clear, Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country but it succeeded to get this ratedown in a normal position. Its main reason is that Bangladesh is no more a Muslim country but secular. That’s why; Bangladesh is the only country in the world having 90% Muslim population which has become successful to control the Islamic terrorism.
In conclusion, Bangladesh has reached on Nov 27, 2019 to the point of a complete trial in special tribunal court about Holy Artisan attack. This trial process and the strong verdict will help to reach Bangladesh in a more secured position regarding terrorism. Now, World should say Bangladesh is a country of stable law and order and the Holy Artisan attack was an incident of past history.
Swadesh Roy, Senior Journalist, Dhaka, Bangladesh. He is a highest state award winning journalist and can be reached at [email protected]

***The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinions and views of Bangla Tribune.