The Dhaka cafe terror attack victims, especially women, were brutally tortured before being killed by the militants on the fateful night of 1 July at the Holey Artisan Bakery in the Gulshan neighbourhood in the capital, the post-mortem reports show. Indian national Tarishi Jain was reportedly subjected to the maximum torture among the 10 female victims, with signs of about 30 to 40 stabbings all over her body.

Doctors who performed the post-mortems said seven of the 20 victims were shot dead, but everyone else was either hacked or stabbed to death. The nine Italian victims were also subjected to slow and torturous death by the terrorists.

The post-mortem reports found that even after the Indian student was dead, the militants hacked her body with a sharp machete and stabbed her hands, belly and chest up to 40 times with knives. The attackers did not even spare seven-month pregnant Maria Riboli of Italy, who too was killed brutally despite her physical condition. She reportedly pleaded with the attackers to let her go, yet they killed her. Among the victims were two Bangladeshi women – Ishrat Akhond and Abinta Kabir. Their post-mortem reports also show torture and a number of stab injuries on their bodies. In a more brutal assault, the militants even smashed Akhond's head after killing her, the Dhaka Tribune reported.

The inquest reports found torture signs on the bodies of some male victims, with body parts severed and heads cut into pieces – a style typical of the Islamic State (Isis) that had claimed responsibility for the siege. However, the Bangladesh administration has blamed local banned jihadi outfit Jamaeytul Mujahdeen Bangladesh (JMB) for the attack.

A recent Dhaka Tribune report said investigators involved in the Dhaka cafe attack case claimed to have identified the mastermind, but did not reveal his name. They only said that the kingpin had fled to India at least seven months ago after finalising the plan for the cafe siege and that he is now hiding in West Bengal, the eastern Indian state that shares a border with Bangladesh.

The investigators were also reported to have said that the attack was a joint operation by members of three banned militant groups – JMB, Hizb ut-Tahrir and Ansarullah Bangla who have all vowed to establish an Islamic caliphate in the country.

Meanwhile, the Counter-Terrorism and Transnational Crimes (CTTC) unit has written to Dhaka Medical College Hospital's forensic department asking them to see if the attackers were under the influence of any drugs that made them resort to brutality. Assistant Professor Sohel Mahmud of the medical college has said they are studying food samples collected from the liver, kidney and stomach of the attackers. He said that they will have a report next week while the post-mortem reports on the attackers would be finalised within two days.