By Asaf Khandekar
Ctg plane hijacking bid: Polash acted alone, final report says
The Counter Terrorism unit of Chattogam Metropolitan Police on Tuesday submitted its final report before a Chattogram court on the Biman plane hijacking bid, implicating the accused Polash Ahmed.
Inspector Rajesh Barua of the unit, also the Investigation Officer (IO) of the case, submitted the 308-page final report to the prosecution on Tuesday, after nearly 11 months of investigation.
Polash Ahmed, the hijacker, was killed in a commando operation during the incident in the city’s Shah Amanat International Airport on February 24 last year.
Debabrata Sarker, technology assistant at the Chattogram airport, filed a case the next day with Patenga Police Station accusing Polash.
“After investigating the case and analysing the statements of the witnesses, police primarily found evidence against the slain Polash…,” Inspector Rajesh Barua told The Daily Star, confirming the submission of the final report.
“Police recorded the statements of 79 witnesses, including 22 passengers of the BG-147 flight, and during the investigation, police found that none but Polash Ahmed alias Sakib Hossain was involved in the case,” Rajesh said.
“The charges brought against him were found to be true, but the exact reason behind the aircraft hijacking attempt could not be known as he got killed during the commando operation by Bangladesh Army,” the IO added.
Among the 79 witnesses, seven are officials and staffers of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, 19 are relatives and family members of slain Polash, while 26 are officials of law enforcement agencies.
All the witnesses made statements under Section 161 of the Penal Code.
CT sources said the CCTV footage of Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport and radio conversation between the pilot and the control tower were also submitted along with the final report and other evidences.
Citing the ballistic expert, the IO in the final report said the gun, which was seized from the plane, was a plastic toy gun. It was not possible to install any cartridge in or fire bullets from the toy pistol.
The report also said Polash presented a “suicide bomb” made of plastic pipes, a circuit, LED lights, battery, clips and a black watch before the passengers and also exploded some crackers.
According to the final report, Polash was known an Mahi in Dhaka. He got married to one Meghla in 2014 without consent from his family and the couple had a baby boy. Meghla later divorced Polash as he used to torture her physically and mentally.
In 2016, Polash went to Malaysia but later came back after one month. The report also mentioned that Polash featured in a short-film titled ‘Kobor’ in January 2018.
After releasing the short-film, he got introduced to a film actress Shimla as a film producer and developed a relationship with her.
In the final report, the IO mentioned that Polash got married to Shimla on March 6, 2018 and began living in Banani. His wife was not aware of Polash’s real identity.
After eight months, Shima divorced Polash after learning who he really was.
In the meantime, moneylenders pressured him to pay them back and he went into hiding.
The report also mentioned that Polash confirmed a plane ticket for Chattogram from one ‘Befresh’ air ticket agency on February 23, 2019 and paid through a mobile financial service.
According to the report, on February 24 he went to Dhaka airport using a ride-sharing service and boarded the plane for Chattogram at 5:13pm. Seventeen minutes after taking off, he changed his seat from 17-A to 1-D. When the cabin crew requested him to go back to his seat, he started shouting, brandishing the toy pistol and bomb-like object and tried to enter the cockpit.
The report also said Polash told the passengers that the plane was being hijacked and he wanted to talk to the prime minister of Bangladesh, forcing the plane for emergency landing in Chattogram.
After landing, the para-commando team of Bangladesh Army asked him to surrender over loudspeaker but he refused. Later, he got killed in the commando operation, the report added.