In the all three drives that killed 11 New JMB militants in Gazipur and Tangail yesterday, law enforcers first give them chances to surrender. But they chose to die attacking the police.
In Patartek area of Gazipur, a total of 100 police officials took part in the five-hour long drive on information that New JMB's Dhaka divisional operations commander Faridul Islam alias Akash alias Pravat and his associates were staying at the two-storey building owned by Saudi expatriate Solaiman.
Although the law enforcers cordoned off the building around 3:30am, they made announcement through a loudspeaker around 10am asking the militants to surrender. But they did not respond.
The team had members of Gazipur district police, SWAT, RAB, Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit and Police Headquarters, said Harun-or-Rashid, superintendent of police of Gazipur district.
After around two hours, the militants started firing at the police around noon with small arms and also exploded 13-14 grenades. They even set a gas cylinder in front of the main gate so that they could explode the cylinder if the police attempted to enter the house, the SP said.
Similar cylinders were seen kept at the entrances of the Holey Artisan Bakery where five terrorists of New JMB laid siege to the Spanish restaurant on July 1 evening. All the five were killed in a commando operation the next morning.
Seven militants rented the house three months ago from the caretaker, Osman Gani, as the owner stays in Saudi Arabia. Osman is a teacher of Kaliganj Jangalia Fazil Madrasa.
Like the Patartek raid, RAB members also asked through loudspeaker the militants hiding in a house in nearby Lebubagan area of Gazipur to surrender.
RAB’s Legal and Media Wing Director Mufti Mahmud Khan said that they first asked the militants to surrender and then started going forward in small steps.
“When we first entered the house breaking the main door of the building, the militants started firing at us. Our members retaliated resulting in the death of two militants.”
The duo were identified as Rashed Mia and Touhidul Islam by the house owner. Mufti Mahmud said that the names could be fake. Their affiliation with militant groups was not clear.
The raid was conducted from 5am to 12 noon.
Khandakar Rezaul Hasan Reza, OC of Joydebpur police, said that they were preparing for filing two separate cases over the two raids for keeping arms illegally and attacking on the law enforcers.
Meanwhile, two other suspected militants were killed in a raid conducted by RAB in Mirzamath area of Kagmara in Tangail town from 10:30am to 3pm. The duo – Atiqur Rahman and Sagor Hossain – are from Charghat of Rajshahi.
RAB 12 Commanding Officer Md Shahabuddin Khan, also an additional deputy inspector general, said that they first asked the militants to surrender, “but they attacked on the RAB members forcing us to retaliate.”
Locals said that they heard someone shouting “Allahu Akbar” when the RAB members had been trying to enter the house to arrest the militants, staying on the ground floor of the three-storey building.
Owner of the building Azhar Ali Master was detained for questioning.
In the fourth raid conducted in Ashulia area of Savar yesterday afternoon, Abdur Rahman – a key financier of New JMB, was held after he jumped off the fourth floor of a building sensing the presence of RAB members. He later died at a Savar hospital.