A judicial magistrate court in Cox’s Bazar on Wednesday accepted a complaint against nine police personnel, including Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradeep Kumar Shaha over the killing of former army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan in police firing.
Eight other accused police personnel are inspector Md Liyakat Ali, sub-inspectors Nanda Dulal Rakshit and Tutul, assistant sub-inspector Liton Mia and constables Safanur Karim, Kamal Hossain, Abdullah Al Mamun, and Mohammad Mostafa.
Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan, 36, who took early retirement from Bangladesh Army a couple of years ago, was shot dead at a police checkpoint on Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive at Shamlapur under Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on July 31. The killing touched off a wave of protests across the country.
Cox’s Bazar senior judicial magistrate Tamanna Farah accepted the complaint filed by Sinha’s eldest sister Sharmen Shahria Ferdush.
Sharmen’s lawyer Anwarul Kabir Babul told New Age that the court also asked the Rapid Action Battalion to submit investigation report in a week over the complaint.
Teknaf police station officer-in-charge Pradeep Kumar Das, meanwhile, took leave on health grounds and senior-most officer inspector (investigation) ABMS Doha took his charge, said Cox’s Bazar police superintendent ABM Masud Hossain.
Earlier, prime suspect Baharchara Investigation Centre in-charge Md Liyakat Ali along with his 15 personnel were withdrawn and attached to the district police lines.
Following the death, the Cox’s Bazar police suspended their check post duty in most of the places in the tourist district, especially in Teknaf.
Chief of army staff General Aziz Ahmed and inspector general of police Benazir Ahmed on Wednesday visited Cox’s Bazar amid tension over the killing.
After a long meeting with both army and the police officials in Cox’s Bazar district headquarters, General Aziz said that the it was ‘an isolated incident’ while the police chief warned that anyone who tried to catch fish in the troubled water would be handled with strictness.
Both the top officials said that no institutions should be blamed for the incident and the law would take its own course while bringing the perpetrators to book.
General Aziz said they always worked with the police shoulder to shoulder for the country and added that they discussed how it was important to avoid any repetition of such an incident.
When asked whether the tourist spot Marine Drive could be maintained as a ‘crossfire’-free zone, both army and police chiefs avoided a direct reply and the police chief said that they did not agree with the very word ‘crossfire’ which, he said, was coined by the foreign-funded NGOs.
Criticising the NGOs, he said that the agencies do not endorse any killing and were trying to find a solution to end such incidents.
Both the chiefs later visited the scene of the incident.
General Aziz said both army and police forces are shocked at the incident.
He said as per instruction of the prime minister, a joint team has begun investigation into the incident and they have complete faith in it.
A high-power government committee earlier on Tuesday started inquiring into the shooting that led to the death of former army major Sinha.
The four-member committee, headed by the Chattogram additional divisional commissioner Mizanur Rahman, already collected the statements of Shahedul Islam Sifat, one of the witnesses of the shooting who was travelling with Rashed, and others who are in jail.
The other members of the committee are Lieutenant Colonel Sajjad, additional deputy inspector general of Chittagong Jakir Hossain and Cox’s Bazar additional district magistrate Shajahan Ali.
Mizanur Rahman said they were inquiring whether the police shooting was justifiable.
Following the shooting incident, the police prosecuted Sifat as 50 Yaba pills and 250 grams of marijuana were found in his possession, according to the police.
Rashed was travelling on his car from Marishbunia after filming in the dark and was intercepted at the police check post on information from locals over the movement of robbers.
Sifat and two others of the film and media studies department at the Stamford University were helping Rashed to produce a film for a travel show. Of the rest of the two students, a female student was sent to jail in a drug case while another student was handed over to his parents.
Following a meeting in Dhaka, Retired Armed Forces Officers’ Welfare Association chairman retired Major Khandaker Nurul Afser on Wednesday in their office told reporters that they wanted a speedy trial of the case and asked the authorities to ensure fair investigation by suspending the suspects named so far.
In a statement signed by the RAOWA secretary general retired Lieutenant Colonel AM Mosharraf Hossain demanded immediate arrest of Pradeep.
Barishal correspondent added that Shahedul Islam Sifat hailed from Barguna and his grandfather Enayet Kabir Howladar alleged that the police filed a ‘false’ case against his grand-son.
Student Rights Protection Council, meanwhile, held protest rallies in Dhaka and elsewhere demanding justice over the death.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country