Dhaka has assured Beijing that a quick trial would be ensured over the killing of a Chinese national in Pirojpur on October 7.
Bangladesh foreign affairs ministry in a statement on Friday said that a telephonic conversation was held on Thursday night between Chinese foreign minister and state councillor Wang Yi and his Bangladeshi counterpart AK Abdul Momen.
The Chinese minister expressed his trust in the initiative taken by Bangladesh to ensure safety of the Chinese nationals currently staying in Bangladesh and the steps taken over the killing of their national in Pirojpur, according to the statement.
Abdul Momen informed Wang Yi that Bangladesh authorities have arrested two suspects over the killing of Pan Yuanjun, 56, who was killed while riding a bicycle near a bridge construction site in the southern district of Pirojpur.
Special Branch officials on Friday said that an average of 21,000 Chinese nationals used to work in Bangladesh, mostly in mega projects, until COVID-19 hit the country but now only 4,000 of them were staying with valid visa or work permit amid the pandemic.
A police official with the rank of deputy inspector general serving in Dhaka said that they already instructed units so that no foreign nationals would face any trouble, especially those working at the development projects.
Hayatul Islam Khan, superintendent of Pirojpur district police, on Friday told New Age that following the killing of the Chinese national, they so far arrested four suspects—Siraj, Masud Rana, Sabbir and Hossain.
All of them are now in jail and Sabbir and Hossain have made statements at a judicial magistrate court under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.
Of them, Hayatul said, Hossain and Sabbir were behind the killing and the motive appeared to be ‘snatching’ of money from Pan, who was carrying Tk 2, 53, 230 to pay wage to workers at his construction site.
He further said that both Sabbir and Hossain had served under the Chinese national in the project but Hossain was fired in March.
When Hossain went to collect his wage he saw Pan carrying cash on specific date every month, Hayatul said, adding that the police investigators could collect all but Tk 2,430 in the course of investigation.
Asked, Hayatul said that they were trying to submit a flawless charge sheet to bring the perpetrators to justice.
‘We are still working on it although we have confirmed that the crime was related to mugging,’ said Hayatul without specifying the time to submit their charge sheet.
The police said the body of the Chinese national was sent to the Dhaka Medical College morgue as his family would complete the formalities. The DMC morgue staff said that the body was still in their freezer.
Pan was a shutter maker and also had been looking after welfare of the labourers working at the China-Bangladesh Bridge construction site since June 13, 2019, where 40 other Chinese and 50 Bangladeshis were working. He supervised 14 people.
In December 2019, a 47-year-old Chinese businessman, Gao Jianhui, who used to supply stones to the Padma Bridge project, was strangled to death and buried at the backyard of his apartment block in the capital’s Banani and the police have so far arrested two suspects over the killing.