A suspected member of Ansar al-Islam, involved with the murders of writer and blogger Avijit Roy, LGBT rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and Jagriti Prakashani publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan, has been arrested.
Police’s Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime (CTTC) unit arrested Mozammel Hussain alias Saimon from Baunia Badaldi road area in Dhaka around 4:30pm on Saturday.
In a statement, police said Saimon’s organisational name was Mozammel and he is the chief of Ansar al-Islam’s Intelligence and Media Wing.
Saimon, while giving a statement to a Dhaka judge under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, Sunday afternoon confessed of being a member of the eight-member assassin team that killed Avijit, sources in court told the Dhaka Tribune.
Saimon said he had led three of the eight in carrying out reconnaissance on Avijit while the other four were tasked with the murder.
Court sources also said Saimon used to be a student of Shahjalal University of Science and Technology in Sylhet. The Dhaka Tribune is yet to independently confirm the information.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Md Ahsan Habib recorded the confessional statement after CTTC unit Inspector Monirul Islam produced him before the court. The magistrate sent him to jail afterwards.
Earlier, a CTTC press release also said that Saimon had confessed to receiving order from sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haque to take part in Avijit’s assassination.
It also read that Saimon also confessed to his involvement with the murders of Dipan, secular activist Niladri Chatterjee Niloy, Xulhaz and his friend Khandaker Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy during preliminary interrogation.
Saimon also told police that he had been involved with all the murders carried out by his group Ansar al-Islam, according to the release.
Naturalised US-citizen Avijit Roy was hacked to death near TSC on Dhaka University campus in February 2015 while Dipan was killed in a similar manner at Aziz Super Market on October 31 the same year.
Xulhaz and Tonoy were killed in the former’s Kalabagan apartment on April 25, 2015.
Niloy, popularly known as Niloy Neel on blogging platforms and Facebook, was killed by four assailants with machetes posing as prospective tenants at his Goran residence in August 2015.