RAB-15 CO withdrawn to BAF

Muktadir Rashid | Published at 01:05am on November 10, 2020

The Rapid Action Battalion unit-15 commanding officer Wing Commander Azim Ahmed has been asked to report to his parent organisation Bangladesh Air Force by December 5.

As the commanding officer at Cox’s Bazar-based RAB-15, Wing Commander Azim was the supervising officer of the investigation into the shooting death of retired army Major Sinha Md Rashed Khan in Cox’s Bazar on July 31.

He has been probing the murder case since the beginning and was first asked on September 23 by BAF to return to his force by October 18.

Officials told New Age that the order was reviewed later as the case was still under investigation while he was asked once again to leave RAB-15 and join the air force by December 5.

Wing Commander Azim did not respond to calls but the RAB headquarters director (legal and media wing) Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah confirmed the news.

He told New Age on Monday that the transfer is a regular phenomenon in any government service and the RAB-15 CO was asked to return his mother organisation.

Asked about the supervising role of Wing Commander Azim and the impact of his sudden transfer, Ashique claimed that the case investigation would not be hampered as the case investigation officer was in constant consultation with legal experts.

None was assigned for RAB-15 as its commanding officer so far.

Following the shooting death of Major Sinha, the Retired Armed Forces Officer’s Welfare Association on August 10 instituted two monitoring cells, one for case investigation and another for media.

Retired Lieutenant General Md Mainul Islam, who heads the judicial investigation monitoring cell, said that it was a scheduled transfer order but the incumbent RAB-15 commanding officer was in the middle of an investigation.

In September, several RAB officials told New Age that they were ready to submit the charge sheet by October.

Senior assistant superintendent Khairul Islam of RAB-15, who was conducting the investigation, said on Monday that they could not complete their work yet but hoped that it would be completed by November.

‘We will be completing the investigation before the departure of the current CO,’ he hoped.

There were other transfers before the transfer of Wing Commander Azim.

Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar-bin-Qashem was suddenly posted out of the RAB and transferred to Bogura cantonment and he had served for about only seven months as intelligence director.

The then RAB intelligence director, Lieutenant Colonel Sarwar had helped in identifying the suspects in the killing case.

The RAB-12 commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Khairul Islam was made the director of RAB’s intelligence wing on November 4.

Sinha, 36, who took early retirement from the Bangladesh Army in November 2018, was shot dead at a police checkpoint on Cox’s Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive at Shamlapur under Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar on July 31.

According to the investigators, they are now in the final stage of investigation.

‘We are scrutinising the evidence collected and are also trying to ascertain whether any suspect was left out of their investigation,’ officers said,

The RAB investigators have so far arrested 14, including 11 policemen and three civilians.

Of them, nine policemen, including prime accused Liyakat, and three civilians have made statements under Section 164 before the court.

The Sinha murder case was filed by his sister Sharmin Sahariar Ferdous on August 5 with the judicial magistrate court in Cox’s Bazar accusing nine policemen.

Sharmin Sahariar could not be reached for comments on the issue of delayed investigation.