Bangladesh is still hunting former soldiers Syed Ziaul Haque and Akram Hossain on charge of killing American blogger and writer Abhijit Roy. The US has announced an award of $5 million for information leading to their arrest.
The Rewards for Justice program of the US has made it clear that Haque and Hossain are still in Bangladesh.
But Bangladesh Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said the two have escaped to another country.
Speaking at a function in Manikganj district on Tuesday, Kamal said: "As far as we know, convicted Zia and Akram are not in the country. They have gone abroad. The verdict will be executed by arresting them as soon as possible. We are continuing our efforts."
Dhaka Metropolitan Detective Police Joint Commissioner Mahbub Alam told the media: "We are continuing our efforts to nab Syed Zia and Akram Hossain."
Deputy Inspector General (Operations) Haider Ali Khan said members of the law enforcement agency are working to nab the fugitives. "We do not know in what context the US announced the awards. We have not got any official letter in this regard."
Roy, a US citizen, came to Bangladesh in February 2015 with his wife Rafida Ahmed Bonya to attend the Ekushey Book Fair despite threats from militants.
On the night of February 26 that year, on his way back from the book fair, the killers hacked Roy to death and seriously injured his wife.
After the incident, the name of Haque, who was fired from the Army, came up in the investigation.
Detectives conducted operations to catch Haque but he remained elusive. At one time, he was said to be in Chittagong.
Haque, after being sacked from the Amy, joined the Ansar al-Islam, police said. He was not found though some leaders of the group were killed in security crackdowns.