Seven members of Ansarullah Bangla Team were involved in the murder of Avijit Roy, investigators said, adding that two of them had been positively identified by the blogger’s wife.
Two of the culprits directly carried out the attack on Avijit and his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya, while the other five reportedly tracked the blogger’s movement and helped the killers flee the scene. All the perpetrators have now been identified.
“We have not only identified the seven killers but also collected photos suspected to be of them,” a senior official of the Detective Branch of police told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday.
Requesting anonymity, the official added that they had sent the photos to the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for verification, and Avijit’s wife – who was also injured in the attack – has already identified two of the suspects as being at the scene of the murder.
On February 27, Avijit Roy was murdered near the TSC intersection while he was visiting the ongoing Ekushey Book Fair. His wife, Bonya, lost a finger in the attack.
The following day, Avijit’s father Ajay Roy filed a case with Shahbag police station. Along with the DB police, the FBI also assisted in the investigation as Avijit was a US citizen.
“We have got all possible details of Avijit’s killing and we are certain that all the killers belong to banned militant outfit Ansarullah Bangla Team,” said Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of DB police.
Monirul, however, said the location of the suspects are yet to be figured out. He also refused to disclose the identities of the killers as the investigation was still going on.
Another senior DB official, also wishing not to be named, told the Dhaka Tribune that the killers – posing as fans – collected information about the science writer from a friend of Bonya, before the blogger couple arrived in the country from the US on February 16.
“Actually, Bonya’s friend had no idea about the killers’ identities and she helped them unknowingly,” the DB official added.
He added that detectives have also extracted some sensational information from nine militants including three Ansarullah members who were arrested last month.
The seven killers were identified after verifying information provided by the arrestees, analysing phone call data, and going through video footage collected from 70 CCTV cameras installed at book fair premises, the official added.
Following Avijit’s death, a Facebook page named Ansar Bangla Seven claimed responsibility for the murder. Law enforcers have so far arrested only one youth named Shafiur Rahman Farabi on charges of instigating the murder of Avijit.