RAB charges 15 over Sinha murder

Staff Correspondent | Updated at 11:40am on December 13, 2020

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Sinha Md Rashed Khan

The Rapid Action Battalion investigators on Sunday submitted the charge sheet against 15 suspects in the case over the killing of retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan in Cox’s Bazar in July.

Senior assistant superintendent Khairul Islam, of RAB-15, who led the investigation, submitted the charge sheet to the court in Cox’s Bazar around 10:30am, accusing 15 suspects of murder and abetting the crime.

Cox’s Bazar public prosecutor Faridul Alam confirmed the matter, adding that the court would now set a date for hearing on the charges brought against the suspects.

The suspects include Teknaf police station’s former officer-in-charge inspector Pradeep Kumar Das, Baharchhara police investigation centre in-charge inspector Liyakat Ali and three local villagers.

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 on July 31.

The RAB investigator included the names of 80 prosecution witnesses, including six persons who made statements before the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, in the charge sheet, RAB unit-15 officials said.

Of the 15 suspects, Sagar Dev remained absconding while the rests are in jail in Cox’s Bazar and Chattogram.

The Sinha shooting incident triggered protests in many quarters, with the number of so-call gunfights plummeting since August.

While the case investigation was going on, the police headquarters replaced all the police officers and members from the Cox’s Bazar district.

Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous on August 5 filed a complaint with the Cox’s Bazar judicial magistrate court, accusing nine policemen, which ordered the Teknaf police station to record a murder case against the police officials.

Pradeep and Liyakat were arrested after they surrendered to the court on August 6 along with four other colleagues in connection with the case.

The RAB investigation team has eventually arrested 14 suspects, including 11 policemen, of whom three witnessed the shooting incident, and three civilians.

All the police members were suspended from their jobs over the killing.

 

Rubel Sharma, 30, a police constable who served under suspended Teknaf OC Pradeep, was arrested on September 13 following an interrogation.

Rubel was with Pradeep when he reached the spot about half an hour after the retired major was shot dead by Baharchhara police investigation centre in-charge Liyakat Ali at the checkpoint.

Senior RAB officials said that they were looking for police constable Sagar Dev of the Teknaf police station, who went into ‘hiding’ after he was transferred to Bagerhat.

Of the 15 suspects, nine policemen, including prime accused Liyakat, and three civilians have made statements under Section 164 before the court.

Both Liyakat and Pradeep alleged that they had been tortured in custody to make statements but investigators dismissed the allegation saying that suspects resorted to false information in order to escape justice.

Pradeep and his ‘trusted’ constable Rubel did not make statements under Section 164.

Pradeep was transferred to Chattogram jail on September 12.