TAVELLA MURDER : ‘I was tortured to confess’ Tamjid tells family

David Bergman and Muktadir Rashid
Mainuddin Ahmed Tawhid visited his nephew Tamzid Ahmed Rubel, the man who allegedly shot Cesare Tavella, in jail on Tuesday. — New Age photo

Mainuddin Ahmed Tawhid visited his nephew Tamzid Ahmed Rubel, the man who allegedly shot Cesare Tavella, in jail on Tuesday. — New Age photo

A man, whom law enforcers claimed shot dead Italian aid worker Cesare Tavella in Dhaka on September 28, told his family during a jail visit on Tuesday that he had no involvement in the crime and that his confession to a magistrate was coerced through torture.
The man, Tamzid Ahmed Rubel, also told his family that. he was not arrested on Sunday night but picked up by Detective Branch officials on October 12 and taken to Detective Branch headquarters on Minto Road, where he was detained for two weeks.
On Monday, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner at a press conference claimed that Rubel was one of four men involved in the killing of Tavella in the capital’s diplomatic zone Gulshan. He said that all the men had been arrested on Sunday night.
The commissioner said that three of the men had followed Tavella into Road-90 at Gulshan, and Rubel had then dismounted from the motorbike, shot Tavella and then escaped with the others on the bike. After the press conference Rubel reportedly made a confession before a metropolitan magistrate admitting the police commissioner’s statement.
Tamjid’s uncle Mainuddin Ahmed Tawhid, however, told New Age that Tamjid told him during a jail visit on Tuesday morning that he was not involved in the murder.
‘He told to me, “I don’t know anything about the crime…I was in no way involved in it…Had I any link with the crime I would definitely not have stayed in Dhaka. I would have gone into hiding,”’ Tawhid said.
‘I was tortured to confess to the crime,’ Tamjid was quoted by Tawhid to have told him.
‘Tamjid said that they [detectives] had tortured him in the left leg so much that he couldn’t walk properly, and that the law enforcers were pushing him and asked him repeatedly to confess to the crime and so he was forced to do it,’ Tawhid said.
Tawhid said that he had also asked Tamjid where he had been since the afternoon of October 12, as the family had not seen him since then.
‘Tamjid said that on that evening he was picked up from the Gulshan Badda link Road by detectives, and had been kept since then in the DB office,’ Tawhid said.
The family members of the three other accused, also claim that the three were picked up by law enforcement officials between October 11 and 15.
Detective Branch Investigation officer inspector Zeahad Hossain denied Tamjid’s allegation, saying that the family might have raised the allegation to save their relative. ‘All procedures for the recording of the confession were followed,’ he said.
On Monday, a metropolitan magistrate remanded Russel Chowdhury, Minhajul Abedin Russel and Shakhawat Hossain Sharif in police custody for eight days for interrogation. Tamzid was remanded to jail after the recording of the reported confession.

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