The Rapid Action Battalion said on Tuesday that they arrested three suspects at Marishbunia area of Teknaf in the afternoon over their ‘direct’ connection to the killing of Bangladesh Army retired Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan in Cox’s Bazar on July 31.
Senior judicial magistrate Helal Uddin sent all three suspects — Nurul Amin, 21, Nizam Uddin, 42, and Ayas Uddin, 40 — to jail pending an application for today filed by the RAB investigators seeking a 10-day custody for interrogation.
The RAB director for legal and media wing Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah said that they had arrested them at 2:00pm on Tuesday at village Marishbunia for their ‘direct link’ to the killing of the retired major.
He said that they were named as ‘witnesses’ in the first information report filed by the Teknaf police sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit, who was also in jail in the case filed by Rashed’s eldest sister Sharmen Shahria Ferdush.
Sharmen filed the murder case with the judicial magistrate court in Cox’s Bazar on August 5, prompting the Teknaf police station to lodge a complaint.
The Teknaf police officer-in-charge Abul Faisol, however, said Nurul Amin’s mother Khaleda Begum lodged a complaint that her son and two others — Nizam and Ayas — were picked up on Monday afternoon by a group of plainclothes people on a microbus.
He said that they received a letter from the government-instituted four-member committee earlier on Monday and the police came to know they were taken when they went to their houses to serve the notice asking them to appear before the committee.
Khaleda Begum filed an abduction case with Teknaf police station on Tuesday morning.
Inspector Abul Faisol said the three supposed to appear before the probe committee at 9:00am on Tuesday.
Asked whether arrests made by the RAB would hamper the inquiry, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, an additional divisional commissioner at Chattogram, who was heading the inquiry, told New Age that it would not hamper as they would ask RAB authorities to allow them to talk to the committee.
He said the committee also asked the Cox’s Bazar police authorities to explain why they failed to produce the three before the committee.
Two officials in the Chattogram police range confirmed that the Cox’s Bazar police already informed in writing to the probe body explaining the reason.
According to the internal report, the police stated that 15 witnesses of the incident were scheduled to appear before the probe body at the Hilldown Circuit House in the district headquarters.
The report read that when the police were visiting the house of the witnesses to serve the notice, they came to know that three of the 15 witnesses were picked up at about 3:30pm on Monday.
The police in the report stated that they would produce nine witnesses, including policemen who were on duty on July 31 and August 1.
The police also informed the probe committee that they have served notice to the retired major’s associate Tahsin Rifat Nur to appear on the committee on Thursday.
Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan, 36, who took early retirement from the Bangladesh Army in November 2018, was shot dead at a police check point on Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive at Shamlapur under Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on July 31.
Following the killing, the first information report filed by sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit of Teknaf police station, stated that Liyakat Ali, in-charge of Baharchhara Police Investigation Centre, fired four shots at the retired major allegedly to protect himself and his fellow officers.
Rashed’s associate, videographer Sifat was arrested in two cases filed under various charges including obstruction to perform government duty and carrying contraband drugs against him and had been jail since the day the major was killed. He was released on bail on Monday.
The RAB was investigating the case and termed Sifat as a crucial witness of the incident as he was with Rashed moments before the fatal shooting.
Shipra Debnath, another associate of the salin major, was prosecuted under a drug case and was released from jail on bail on Sunday.
Ramu police station held Shipra at Nilima Resort in Himchari and filed the case against her for possessing liquor and marijuana, among others.
On Monday night, Sifat and Shipra appeared before the press with their family members.
On August 6, a judicial magistrate court remanded three suspects — Teknaf police station’s suspended officer-in-charge Pradeep Kumar Das, Baharchhara Police Investigation Centre in-charge Md Liyakat Ali and sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit — in custody for seven days within ten days in connection with the case filed on August 5 by the victim’s sister over the killing.
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