A Dhaka court on Thursday allowed police to interrogate Ansar al-Islam leader Mehedi Hasan Omi alias Rafi in custody for a week in a case lodged over recent escape of two death-row convict militants.
Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate Shafi Uddin passed the order as CTTC Inspector and investigation officer Muhammad Abul Kalam Azad produced Mehedi before the court and pleaded for interrogating him in remand for 10 days.
According to the case documents, Mehedi took part in the militants’ snatching mission on November 20. He is also an accused in blogger Nazimuddin Samad murder case.
The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime unit of Dhaka Metropolitan police arrested Mehedin at Jatrabari in Dhaka on Wednesday.
The CTTC on Thursday said that Mehdi was the chief coordinator of mission to snatch away two death-row convicts Abu Siddiq Sohel and Moinul Hasan Shamim from the court premises on November 20.
Mehedi also handed over a handsome amount of money to two escapee militants to meet their expenses in hideouts, said CTTC chief Md Asaduzzaman. But he did not disclose the amount.
“Ansar al-Islam top brass chalked out a plan to snatch the convicted militants from the court premises. As Mehedi used to appear before the court regularly and kept contacts with the convicted militants, he used to share information with them. He acted as the chief coordinator in the mission,” said Asaduzzman.
He said Mehedi initially joined Hizb ut-Tahrir in 2009. Later, police arrested in him in a case in 2010 and he came out on bail in 2011. Two years later, he joined Ansar al-Islam which was then known as Ansarullah Bangla Team (ABT).
In Ansar al-Islam, Mehdi earned the trust of its top leaders and later became the head of dawati branch in Sylhet region. He started recruiting members for the askari wing (military wing) of the outfit in coordination with sacked army major Syed Ziaul Haque, said Asaduzzman.
One of the escapee convicts Mainul was also recruited by Mehedi, he added.
Mehedi was the liaison person between Ansar al-Islam top echelon and the militants in jail before his latest arrest as he was on bail, the officer said.
Asaduzzaman said that three separate cases were filed against Mehdi in 2016 under the Anti-Terrorism Act with Mohammadpur, Sutrapur and Badda police stations. He also faces two more cases under the same act in Sylhet.