Vol. 5 Num 437 Thu. August 18, 2005  
Front Page

6 picked up in city

Police yesterday picked up six persons, five of them hafez (one who has memorised the Holy Qur'an), from Ramna and airport areas in the capital on suspicion of their involvement in yesterday's countrywide bombing.

The Ramna police arrested one Ruhul Amin, aged around 30, claiming he was carrying the packet of bombs that exploded in his hand on the pavement between Banglamotor and Sonargaon crossings at 11:15am.

Ruhul, clad in a lungi and a long panjabi, however, claimed himself to be innocent, saying he found the packet on the street and that it exploded as he picked it up.

The airport police picked up five--Zahidul Islam, Kawsar Ahmed, Hamidur Rahman, Mohammad Shahjalal and Rabiul Islam--from Zia International Airport (ZIA) and Airport Railway Station after two blasts took place in the area.

Shahjalal, 21, who claimed himself to be a hafez from Jamia Arabia Emdadul Ulum Madrasa at Faridabad in Jatrabari of the city, was standing some 200 yards away from the bomb that exploded on an abandoned staircase connecting the ground floor and first floor of the arrival and departure lounges at the airport.

He told this correspondent that he went to the airport to receive a huzur (religious teacher), who was supposed to land in Dhaka yesterday.

"He [Shahjalal] was standing in the sun with an umbrella staring towards the bombed place," Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Airport Police Station Hanif told The Daily Star yesterday. "There were many shades and the departure lounge where he could stand and wait," the OC explained.

Police picked up Zahidul, Kawsar and Hamidur--all introduced themselves as students of Darul Ulum Jamia Madania Madrasa at Jatrabari--while they were roaming about ZIA after the blasts.

They told The Daily Star that they came to buy sweets from the Tangail Cham Cham Sweets at the airport. Asked why they came as far as to the airport from Jatrabari to buy sweets, they could not give any reason.

Rabiul was arrested from the Airport Railway Station, a little distant from the place of another explosion. "He was roaming about the area suspiciously," said the OC.

A third-year student of Islamic studies at Jagannath University and also an Imam of a mosque at Ishal colony in the airport area, Rabiul told this correspondent that he went to the station after taking English lessons from a private tutor for his subsidiary course.