Politician stunned by son’s role in Dhaka attack

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 05 Jul 2016

DHAKA: A Bangladeshi politician is horrified to learn that his son was among the suspected gunmen who murdered foreigners at a Dhaka cafe, saying many young men from wealthy, educated families are going missing of late.

Imtiaz Khan Babul said his 22-year-old son Rohan Imtiaz, who was killed when commandos stormed the cafe on Saturday, had been a top-scoring student whose behaviour gave no hint that he was radicalised before he disappeared last December.

“I was stunned and speechless to learn that my son had done such a heinous thing,” a tearful Babul told the AFP news agency.

“I don’t know what changed him. There was nothing that would suggest that he was getting radicalised. He hardly read any religious books.”

Babul, an official with the ruling Awami League party, said he had not seen his son since travelling to India in December with his math teacher wife, leaving the couple’s three children in Dhaka.

In the months that followed Rohan’s disappearance, Babul lobbied senior party officials to help find his only son and even scoured the city’s morgues. 

As he searched, he met other families who had suffered the same fate.

“Even yesterday, one of them was saying that I was lucky that I got the body of my boy. Some of them are not so lucky,” he said.

Babul said he believed his son might have been “brainwashed” on the Internet.

Bangladesh’s Home Minister has said that the men behind Friday night’s attack at the upmarket cafe, which left 22 people dead, were highly educated and from wealthy families.

Witnesses said the perpetrators of the attack, which the Islamic State group has claimed responsibility, spared the lives of Muslims while herding foreigners to their deaths, killing many with mache­tes.

The victims included nine Italians, seven Japanese, a US citizen and a 19-year-old Indian student.

Six young men were shot dead at the end of the all-night siege. One was taken alive and is being questioned.

The government has alleged that all the attackers were members of the Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Ban­gladesh, a banned local Islamist group.

Rohan had enrolled at Monash University Malaysia with Nibras Islam, another of the dead militant, in 2012, according to a former student at the university.
Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 1
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Nation

Vaccination truck helps Sandakan folks get Covid-19 vaccine jabs
Burst culvert causes flash floods in Kampung Poh Tambahan, Bidor
KL-JB route for HSR project not viable, says Khaled Nordin
Identity theft victim issues statement denying his involvement with online loan scam
Sabah Umno to campaign for Barisan candidates in Melaka polls
PM: Monitor projects closely to avoid appointing rescue contractors
Police investigating sexual assault claim in Komtar after recording victim’s statement
Melaka polls: Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong appointed as DAP’s election director
Agri Ministry to ensure seed distribution delay to padi farmers won’t happen again, says Kiandee
Melaka polls: Pakatan Harapan expects to finalise seat allocation next week

Others Also Read