MOULVIBAZAR, April 3, 2017 (BSS) - Relatives today declined to receive bodies of seven of a militant family who killed them in a suicide blast last week amid a series of security clampdowns in the northeastern region, fearing it could stigmatize the rest of the family.
"They indentified the bodies but declined to take them saying they don't want to be part of the stigma caused by their (slain) kin,"," Moulvibazar's police chief Mohammad Shahjalal told a media briefing at his office.
He said in laws of slain Lokman Hossain identified them seeing a family photograph kept at the den as the severe suicide blast tore into pieces the bodies beyond recognition.
Shahjalal said the Hossain's father in law Abu Bakar accompanied by a son and neighbor came to Moulvibazar from their home in Dinajpur as they were called for the identification.
He said Bakar told police, his slain daughter Shirina Akhtar called him last after police's elite SWAT team raided the house, where the militant couple lived with five daughters with youngest one being just seven-month-old while the others were 21, 12, 10 and 7 years of age.
Forty five-year-old Hossain and his wife were operatives of Neo-Jamaatul Mujahideen Bangladesh (Neo-JMB), blew themselves up along with their five daughters on March 29 night on the face of a security assault on the hideout on the outskirts of Moulvibazar town.
Security officials earlier said the severe suicide blast split into pieces the dead making it difficult to ascertain exactly how many people were inside.
"The forensic examinations could confirm the casualty figure but we assume they are seven or eight in number," police's counter terrorism unit chief Monirul Islam said at that time.
Contrary to initial police assumption, the forensic investigations found Hossain to be the only adult male in the hideout as they carried out the 36-hour security siege "Operation Hit Back" at the den.
Police earlier said the militant couple repeatedly declined to respond to calls for their surrender and preferred to stage the suicide blast killing their children as well, finding no way to escape the siege.
"Our intension was to capture them alive and therefore we repeatedly called them to surrender but they defied . . . launched counter attacks throwing grenades and blasting bombs whenever we tried to approach them," the counter terrorism unit chief said.
Denial to acknowledge relationship with militants appeared to be a phenomenon in the country in view of growing anti-militancy social and security campaigns.
In last such instance relatives last month identically refused to accept bodies of four slain militants killed in police encounters in Sitakunda of Chittagong.
The country on Saturday visibly wrapped up more than a week's of bloody anti-militant security clampdown that saw 21 deaths.
Army commandos led by a military general were called out carryout the first one in Sylhet, where security forces required five days to wrap the "Operation Twilight".
Four militants were killed in the Sylhet clampdown but as the raid was underway fellow Islamists carried out two subsequent retaliatory assaults near the den killing seven people - an army lieutenant colonel serving in RAB, two police inspectors and two young onlookers.
The last of the operations in another militant hideout in Moulvibazar saw deaths of three militants, one being a woman.
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS