Sarwar Ali and his family members suspect that the attack was carried out by a militant group
The role of a former chauffeur in the attempted murder of Liberation War Museum trustee Sarwar Ali and his family is being investigated.
The family suspects that Nazmul, a chauffeur a year ago, for Sarwar’s wife Makhduma Nargis, may have been involved in the attack.
On Sunday night, two assailants reportedly tried to murder Liberation War Museum trustee Dr Sarwar Ali and his family at his Uttara residence in Dhaka.
Evidence in the murder inquiry such as machetes, ropes, and a screwdriver, were recovered from the spot.
Sarwar Ali and his family members suspect that the attack was planned and carried out by a militant group, as they did not rob any money or valuables.
Sarwar has always been vocal against anti-liberation forces, but whether that was the main reason for the attack is not verified yet.
“There could be a militancy connection. I used to write on the trial of war criminals and attended many talk shows on the issue. But for the last two years, I have not written anything significant,” Sarwar said.
A case was filed with Uttara West police station on Monday against Nazmul, security guard Hasan, and three other unnamed accused.
Uttara West police station OC, Tapan Chandra Saha, said police detained the building’s security guard Hasan, and driver Hafiz, in connection with the attack.
Police produced the two in court seeking a seven day remand, but the court only granted a two day remand for questioning.
Two bearded youths in the spotlight
Sarwar Ali told Dhaka Tribune that two bearded youths, aged 25 to 30, entered the building around 10:20pm on Sunday. They first went to his daughter's apartment on the third floor in search of Dr Sarwar.
When his daughter and her husband opened the door, the miscreants held them hostage at knifepoint and asked them about Sarwar's whereabouts, he added.
He said one of the attackers went to his flat on the fourth floor, while the other stayed with his daughter and son-in-law. When Sarwar opened the door, the knife wielding attacker also held him and his wife hostage.
"The attacker also threatened to strangle my wife if she cried for help," he continued.
In the meantime, his daughter and son in law managed to push the other attacker out of their apartment and locked the door. They then called the national emergency helpline 999 for police help, he added.
As they were shouting for help, two of Sarwar's neighbors, one a former army person, came out of their homes to catch the attackers, but they managed to escape, Sarwar said.
Why the former driver 's role is in question
Law enforcement agency is looking for chauffeur Nazmul who was on good terms with driver Hafiz and security guard Hasan, possibly because the security guard was using a phone that previously belonged to chauffeur Nazmul, according to Uttara west police station officials.
At least 25 calls were made to the mobile phone of the guard on the day, they said.
Furthermore, according to Sarwar Ali: “Nazmul always avoided using roads inside Dhaka cantonment even when we asked him to do so. About a year ago, after four months of working for us, he told me that he will not work for us anymore.”
“His behavior was suspicious and my wife was also not pleased with him, saying his behavior was like that of militants,” he added.
Police found a bag left behind by the attackers on the ground floor of the building. The bag had seven machetes, a screwdriver, a mobile phone, ropes, one iPad, and an electric heater, among other things.
"We are investigating this case with the utmost importance," said OC Tapan.
He said they are trying to arrest Nazmul and are expecting to unearth the mystery behind the attack once he is arrested.
Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee condemns attack
Ekattorer Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee on Tuesday strongly condemned the most likely terrorist attack on Liberation War Museum trustee Dr Sarwar Ali and his family members, and demanded the immediate arrest of the attackers.
“We are very anxious about the attack on one of the leaders of the human rights movement in Bangladesh, Liberation War Museum trustee and valiant freedom fighter Dr Sarwar Ali, and his family,” said an issued statement of the committee.
It said Dr Ali has made outstanding contributions to progressive, social and cultural movements, and to establishing the spirit of the Liberation War.