Five police officials have been suspended in the incident of two death row convicts fleeing a Dhaka court premises on Sunday.
The officers were suspended by Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) on Monday for negligence in duty, confirmed Detective Branch of police's Chief Harun Or Rashid during a press briefing in the capital.
The suspended officers are - Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court jail's Inspector Matiur Rahman, Jail Incharge (SI) Nahidur Rahman Bhuiyan, those responsible for taking the convicts to jail including Police Assistant Town Sub-Inspector Mohiuddin Pal, Constables Sharif Hasan and Abdus Sattar.
According to police, the incident took place around 12:45pm when 12 accused were being taken to the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court in Dhaka.
The 10 other accused have been remanded for 10 days.
The two convicts who fled – Moinul Hasan Shamim alias Samir alias Imran, 24, and Abu Siddiq Sohel, 34, – were among eight militants of banned militant outfit Ansar al Islam sentenced to death in February last year for murdering Jagriti Prakashani publisher Faisal Arefin Dipan in 2015.
The DMP's Additional Deputy Inspector General (DIG) Harun Or Rashid also said that at least 18 people were involved in the escape.
Four people on two motorbike riders came in and blinded the cops by spraying their faces when the officers were taking the convicts to court to be produced before the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal, according to witnesses.
The DMP formed a five-member investigation committee to probe the incident. DMP Additional Commissioner (Crime and Ops) was made the head of the committee, said a notification signed by DMP Commissioner Khandaker Golam Faruq on Sunday (20 November) afternoon.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan also ordered a nationwide manhunt for the escapees and has offered a Tk20 lakh bounty for information leading to their capture.
Police have filed a case with Kotwali police station against 20 people in connection with the incident.
ADIG Harun Or Rashid said, "Everyone will be brought under the law. They are all under surveillance. We will be able to arrest them anytime."
The police chief has already issued a red alert across the country to prevent them from escaping, he added.
Stating that patrols are being strengthened and CCTV footage is being strictly analysed and monitored, the DB chief said, security has been increased in case of moving terrorists from one place to another.