XULHAZ, TONOY MURDERS

Charges proposed against eight people

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 00:01, May 13,2019

 
 

Mahbub Tanoy (left) and LGBT magazine editor Xulhaz Mannan. -- UNB photo

The counter-terrorism and transnational crime unit of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police on Sunday proposed charges against eight people for the murders of LGBT rights activist Xulhaz Mannan and his friend Mahbub Rabbi Tonoy.
Counter-terrorism division deputy commissioner Mohibul Islam Khan said that they submitted the proposed charge sheet to the home ministry for approval.
The unit completed the investigation into the case more than three years after the murders claimed by banned extremist outfit Ansar Al Islam, previously known as Ansarullah Bangla Team.
Eight people have been named in the charge sheet, unit officials said, adding that dismissed army major Syed Muhammad Ziaul Haque ordered the murders.
The investigators said that they found involvement of five more suspects in the murders but failed to press charges against them as their identities and addresses could not be ascertained yet.
Of the eight accused, the unit has so far arrested Muzammel Hussain, 25, of Mymensing, Arafat Rahman, 24, of Nilphamari, Sheikh Abdullah, 29, of Chattogram and Asadullah, 25, of Jhenaidah.
The proposed charge sheet mentioned that the four were Ansar Al Islam operatives and confessed to the murder, the investigators said.
It showed that the rest four accused — dismissed army major Syed Muhammad Ziaul Haque, Akram Hossain, Sabbirul Hoque Chowdhury and Zunayed Ahmed — were still in hiding, they said.
Complainant of the case Minhaz Mannan Emon, also brother of Xulhaz, told New Age on Sunday that for the first time in the past three years, the police communicated with them and texted him that the charge sheet was submitted.
He said, ‘We are even happy they have at least informed us.’
A unit official said that the family were not included as enough evidences were collected from other witnesses.
According to the investigators, they also dropped another key witness, who was with Xulhaz at the time of the attack, considering his security.
The finally of the witness could manage to leave the country, one of the investigators said.
Xulhaz joined the Office of Democracy and Governance at the mission of the US Agency for International Development in Bangladesh in 2015, after serving the US embassy for nine years as the protocol specialist.
Tonoy was a theatre activist.
They were killed in the apartment of Xulhaz at Kalabagan in Dhaka on April 25, 2016.

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