Attack on Bernicat: BCL leaders among nine accused  

Marcia Bernicat

Five years after the attack on former US Ambassador Marcia Barnicat's motorcade, the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has filed a supplementary charge sheet against nine individuals in court.  

Mohammad Ishtiaq Mahmud, brother-in-law of Badiul Alam Majumdar, secretary of Shushashoner Jonno Nagorik (SHUJAN), and Naimul Hasan alias Russell, President of Mohammadpur Thana Chhatra League, have been named as accused. Many of the remaining accused are affiliated with the Awami League and Chhatra League as leaders and activists.  

The charge sheet was submitted to the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) court of Dhaka on 19 September. It is stated that the involvement of these accused has been proven during the primary investigation. 

Badiul Alam Majumdar, the secretary of SHUJAN and the plaintiff in the case, told Prothom Alo, "Thank you to DB for filing the charge sheet in the case even after five years. Hopefully, they will conduct a thorough investigation and we will get justice."  

On the night of 4 August 2018, the then US Ambassador Marcia Bernicat attended a dinner at the Mohammadpur residence of Badiul Alam Majumdar. The attack took place as she was getting into her car after the dinner. 

In March 2021, the court framed charges against nine individuals in the case related to this incident. However, later, the state requested further investigation. It is stated in the plea that five people, including the complainant, have provided statements in court.

Among them, three accused have mentioned the name of the plaintiff Badiul Alam Majumdar's brother-in-law, Ishtiaq Mahmud. However, the investigating officer did not mention his name. Therefore, further investigation is necessary to identify the real culprit. 

In response to the state party's application, the court ordered further investigation into the case on 28 December of last year. The responsibility for this reinvestigation was assigned to the DB.

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Additional Commissioner (DB), Harun-Or-Rashid, informed Prothom Alo yesterday, Saturday, saying, "We have submitted the report to the court in the form of a supplementary charge sheet, as reported by DB Assistant Commissioner Rajan Kumar after the investigation." 

Also Read

Who were made accused? 

Apart from Mohammad Ishtiaq Mahmud and Naimul Hasan, the charge sheet includes the names of Feroz Mahmud, Mir Amjad Hossain, Saju Islam, Rajibul Islam, Shahidul Alam Khan, Siam, and Oli Ahmed. An application has been submitted to issue an arrest warrant against Ishtiaq Mahmud. The remaining accused are currently out on bail.  

Among the accused, Naimul Hasan was the General Secretary of Mohammadpur Thana Chhatra League at the time of the incident. Currently, he holds the position of President of Mohammadpur Thana Chhatra League. He informed Prothom Alo on Saturday, saying, "We were chatting in front of the scene at that time. I heard screams. That was our fault." 

Also Read

Another accused, Mir Amjad Hossain, held the position of joint general secretary of Mohammadpur Thana Chhatra League at the time of the incident. Shahidul Alam Khan was the secretary for youth and sports affairs of Sherbangla Nagar Thana Awami League. 

Mojahid Azmi, who was the President of Mohammadpur Thana Chhatra League, was named in the complaint filed in 2021. Unfortunately, he passed away in the same year. Azmi and an unnamed accused were requested to be acquitted. 

Also Read