Police Bureau of Investigation on Friday detained Sonagazi upazila unit Awami League president Ruhul Amin from his house at Takia Bazar of Sonagazi for interrogation over the murder of Feni madrassah student Nusrat Jahan Rafi.
Ruhul was also the vice-chairman of the governing body of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrassah where Nusrat studied.
Case investigation officer Shah Alam said they, based on statements by some accused in the murder case, had detained another person in the afternoon and that the media would be informed of the arrest later.
Ruhul’s family members, party leaders and local people confirmed that the PBI members had taken the Sonagazi AL president in custody.
The PBI investigators also produced two suspects – Nusrat’s classmate and Alim examinee Umme Sultana Popy and Javed Hossain – before Feni senior judicial magistrate Sharaf Uddin Ahmed on Friday afternoon, on completion of their remand in police custody.
Of them, Popy, also a niece of Nusrat’s abuser principal Siraj-ud-Doula, after her five-day remand gave statement confessing to her involvement in setting fire to Nusrat, said Mohammad Iqbal, special superintendent of PBI, Chattogram.
In her statement, recorded by the court between 4:30pm and 9:30pm, Popy said that she had called Nusrat to the roof where she was set on fire, he said, quoting Popy’s statement.
He further said that Javed had been interrogated for seven days in PBI custody and the court had allowed PBI to interrogate him for three more days.
Meanwhile, the police on Friday afternoon took Kamrun Nahar Moni with them, one of the five suspects who directly took part in setting Nusrat afire, while visiting the roof of the madrassah’s cyclone shelter where the victim was set ablaze and a burka shop in the town.
PBI has been interrogating Moni, also a classmate of Nusrat, as the court allowed them to take her in a five-day remand.
‘As per information extracted from her, we took her to a burka shop at Sonagazi’s Manik Mia Plaza, talked to its owner and then to the spot where Nusrat was burnt. Popy described how the assailants set fire to Nusrat by dousing kerosene,’ said PBI inspector Md Shah Alam, also the investigation officer of the case.
He said they were trying to seize the burkas the males wore during the fire attack.
Feni deputy commissioner Md Wahiduzzaman said that he had receieved a letter from the Islamic Arabic University vice-chancellor Dr Ahsan Ullah asking him to dissolve the existing managing committee of Sonagazi Islamia Fazil Madrassah and to form an ad-hoc committee for managing the educational institution.
He said they were trying to form an ad-hoc committee.
Meanwhile, the Criminal Investigation Department of Police has launched a probe to know whether any money was laundered in the killing of Nusrat Jahan Rafi.
‘The Organised Crime Unit of CID has already started work to know whether any money was exchanged in the killing of Nusrat or not. If yes, the CID will identify those involved in the exchange of money,’ additional special police superintendent of CID Sharmin Jahan told reporters on Friday.
There was an allegation that money was exchanged in the killing, she said, adding that if there was any exchange of money, the CID would identify the sources and suppliers of the money.
In Dhaka, Mohammadpur thana unit of Ganasamhati Andolon formed a human chain at Mohammadpur Bus Stand demanding end to oppression of women and exemplary punishment for the oppressors as well as the killers of Nusrat.
In Feni, different voluntary organisations under the banner of ‘Amra Sachetan Fenibasi’ brought out a procession carrying torches on Friday evening to press home similar demands.
They brought out the procession from the Shaheed Minar on the town’s Tank Road, which came back to the same point after parading the adjacent roads.
Nusrat, 18, was set on fire on April 6 as she refused to withdraw her accusation against Siraj-ud-Doula, principal of Sonagazi Islamia Senior Fazil Madrassah.
On April 10, she died while on life support at the Burn Unit of Dhaka Medical College Hospital.
Siraj was arrested on March 28 after Nusrat’s mother lodged a case with Sonagazi police station for sexually harassing her daughter.
Nusrat’s bother Mahmudul Hasan Noman field another case with the police station on Aril 8 naming eight people and several others unnamed including four wearing burkas, veils and gloves for setting Nusrat on fire that caused her death.
Police have till now arrested 18 people including all the eight named in the FIR. Among them, four have so far made confessional statement in the court.
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