Security beefed up ahead of verdict in Dhaka's Holey Artisan Bakery attack

FILE PHOTO: Holey Artisan Bakery in Dhaka Photograph:( ANI )

ANI Dhaka, Bangladesh Nov 27, 2019, 10.40 AM (IST)

Security has been beefed up as a special anti-terrorism court in Dhaka is set to pronounce verdict on Wednesday in the 2016 deadly terrorist attack on Holey Artisan Bakery.

Twenty-two civilians, including 17 foreign nationals, were killed after five gunmen carried out the attack in Dhaka's upscale Gulshan diplomatic enclave on July 1, 2016, Dhaka Tribune reported. Two police officers also died in the encounter before the army commandos killed the terrorists on the following day to end the siege and release the guests whom the militants took hostages inside the eatery.

Judge Md Mujibur Rahman of Dhaka Anti-terrorism Special Tribunal earlier this month set the date for pronouncing the verdict today after the arguments in the case ended.
The prosecution lawyers hoped for maximum punishment for all the eight accused in the trial that was initiated on November 26, 2018.

One of the defence lawyers, Md Delwar Hossain, said, "The prosecution failed to prove the charges against our clients in the case, so they should be acquitted." According to the charge sheet submitted by the investigating agency - the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police - the eight accused are members of the banned militant outfit Jamaat-ul-Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB).

The cafe was shut down after the attack and later moved to a different location. The original building was locked down by the owners, only open to mourners on the anniversary of the attack who came to pay their respects. The incident is considered to be one of the deadliest terror attacks in Bangladesh's history.