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Holey Artisan attack: Govt to dedicate Metro rail info centre to Japanese victims

  • Published at 11:22 pm November 26th, 2019
Dhaka Metro Rail
File photo of the on-going construction of a section of the Metro Rail in Dhaka Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

The Line 6 of the Dhaka MRT, more commonly known as Metro Rail, which will connect Uttara with Motijheel, is still under construction

The government has decided to dedicate an information centre of Line 6 of Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) to the Japanese citizens, who were killed in the terror attack on Holey Artisan Bakery in Gulshan, Dhaka on July 1, 2016.

The information centre will be constructed at the MRT ground station in Uttara, MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited (DMTCL), told Dhaka Tribune. 

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The Line 6 of the Dhaka MRT, more commonly known as Metro Rail, which will connect Uttara with Motijheel, is still under construction. 

File photo the Holey Artisan Bakery, where a group of militants carried out a barbaric attack on the night of July 1, 2016, at Gulshan, Dhaka | Dhaka Tribune

However, the information centre will be moved to Natun Bazar station from Uttara when the construction of MRT Line 1 is complete, Siddique further added. 

Line 1 will connect Dhaka airport with Kamalapur. 

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“Jica (the Japan International Cooperation Agency) is preparing the detailed design of the information centre. We will start working on it when we receive the design,” Siddique said.

Previously, State Minister of Foreign Affairs Shahriar Alam, during a meeting on the sidelines of the 4th Indian Ocean Conference in the Maldives on September 4 this year, told his Japanese counterpart Toshiko Abe that Bangladesh would name the Metro Rail stations after the Japanese victims of the terror attack.

State Minister of Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam sits with Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshiko Abe at Indian Ocean Conference at Male, Maldives, on September 4, 2019 UNB

In response, the Japanese state minister for foreign affairs had said Japan was happy that Bangladesh had decided to do so. 

However, when asked about this, MAN Siddique the DMTCL had not received any such instruction from the government. 

Five militants stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery on July 1, 2016 and killed 20 hostages, including 17 foreign nationals, seven of whom were Japanese and had been visiting Bangladesh to work on the Dhaka Metro Rail project. 

Two Bangladeshi civilians and two policemen were also killed because of the attack. 

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Among the Japanese victims were Makoto Okamura, 32, Yuko Sakai, 42, and Rui Shimodaira, 27, all of whom worked for Tokyo-based construction consultancy Almec Corp; Hideki Hashimoto, 65, Nobuhiro Kurosaki, 48, and Hiroshi Tanaka, 80, who worked for Tokyo-based consultancy Oriental Consultants Global Co; and Koyo Ogasawara, 56, an employee of Katahira & Engineers International.

A Japanese national – Tamaoki Watanabe – was rescued along with 18 others when a commando force stormed the restaurant and rescued the hostages the morning of July 2, killing the five terrorists.

Jica, one of the biggest development partners of Bangladesh, is implementing at least 35 infrastructure projects in the country, including some high-profile ones such as the Metro Rail in Dhaka and the 1,200MW Matarbari coal-fired power plant in Cox's Bazar.

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Besides communication, power and infrastructure development projects, Jica is funding and implementing many social infrastructure projects in health, education, water and sanitation, disaster management, agriculture and rural development sectors.