RAB receives Liyakat’s pistol for ballistic test

RAB still searches for Sinha killing motive, takes 3 APBn witnesses into custody

Muktadir Rashid | Published: 21:05, Aug 22,2020 | Updated: 23:44, Aug 22,2020


Sinha Md Rashed Khan

The Rapid Action Battalion on Saturday received a pistol and the related documents from the Cox’s Bazar police as per a court order in connection with the shooting death of retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan on July 31.

Investigation officer of the case senior assistant police superintendent at RAB-15 Khairul Islam received the pistol from the district police following the order passed by senior judicial magistrate Tamanna Farah on August 20.

He would send the weapon to the Criminal Investigation Department shortly for  ballistic test.

In his application to the court, Khairul wanted the weapon to be seized so that it could be sent for the test and to confirm when and against whom the gun was issued.

A senior police officer in Cox’s Bazar told New Age that the pistol was used by the prime suspect, Inspector Md Liyakat Ali, who was the in-charge of Baharcchara Police Investigation Centre in Cox’s Bazar.

According to the police record, Liyakat on August 3 submitted his pistol to the police lines with 26 live bullets along with a letter stating that four bullets were used on July 31 in the shooting incident and he used it in ‘self defence’.

The senior police official also said that not only Liyakat but also suspects Pradeep Kumar Das and sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit submitted their weapons to the police lines with their documents.

Visiting the crime scene, RAB additional director general (operations) Colonel Tofail Mostafa Sarovar on Friday told reporters that the investigators were trying to find out what led to the opening of fire within two minutes.

‘We want to analyse each second of the incident,’ he added.

Like him, another senior RAB official on Saturday said that they were still collecting evidence in order to confirm the motive for the shooting as they wanted to make sure what ‘actually’ prompted the ‘firing’.

The official said that Pradeep, Liyakat and Nanda Dulal were still in their custody. The seven-day custody will expire on Sunday.

The RAB official further said that they would appeal to the court in Cox’s Bazar to extend the time for interrogation in their custody. 

An extended interrogation by the RAB might delay the government inquiry committee to submit their report as they were waiting to interrogate Pradeep independently, a committee member said.

The government committee was scheduled to place their report by August 31.

RAB interrogators on Saturday took three Armed Police Battalion members into their custody according to an order passed by senior judicial magistrate Tamanna Farah on July 18 in connection with the murder case filed by Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahria Firdaus on August 5.

The investigators said that Cox’s Bazar-based APBn members — sub-inspector Shah Jahan and constables Rajib and Abdullah — were posted at the check post in the night when Sinha was shot dead.

APBn-16 commanding officer police superintendent Hedayatul Islam on Saturday told New Age that the three of his armed members were on duty at the check post on that day from 2:00pm to 2:00am.

‘They witnessed the incident and informed us. The RAB in a letter requested us to send them to their battalion headquarters as prosecution witnesses. As the three went there on August 17, the RAB later in another letter informed us, they were arrested,’ said Hedayatul Islam.

He said that it was the check post of the APBn where sub-inspector Shah Jahan was leading the three-member team while inspector Liyakat arrived there on information.

Hedayat said that the three had already given their statements before the government-instituted four-member inquiry committee prior to their arrest.

RAB investigator Khairul said that they took the three suspects after a pre-remand medical checkup was carried out on them in accordance with an order from the High Court.

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