Bangladesh

Sinha Murder Case: Four accused give ‘vital info’

The investigation officer of the Maj (retd) Sinha murder case yesterday sought 10-day remand for four of the seven accused as they "disclosed very important information" during a two-day interrogation at jail gate.

"We have gleaned very important and sensitive information from the four accused. So, we sought their remand from the court for quizzing them intensively," Lt Col Ashik Billah, director of Rab Media Wing, told The Daily Star yesterday.

He, however, refused to disclose the information gleaned from them during their grilling at the Cox's Bazar jail gate.

The Rab official, however, said the four accused, who were on duty at the check post in Teknaf where Maj (retd) Sinha Md Rashed Khan was shot dead, gave details of the incident during interrogation.

About the three key accused in the case, he said, "After collecting more information, we will take them in custody and interrogate them."

The three are suspended police officers Pradeep Kumar Das, former officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station, Inspector Liaqat Ali, and Sub-Inspector Nandadulal Rakhshit. Liaqat is the main accused in the case.

Upon a prayer from the IO of the case on August 6, a Cox's Bazar court placed the three on a seven-day remand.

At a press briefing yesterday, the Rab director said the court gave an order to complete interrogation and remand of the three accused within 10 working days. Rab yesterday prayed to the court to lift the time limit and the court granted it.

"Rab wants to give assurance that it will investigate the case impartially without any interference," he said.

He said they would also interrogate Shahedul Islam Shifat, who was released from prison on bail yesterday, and Shipra Devnath. Shifat and Shipra, both students of a private university, went to Cox's Bazar from the capital with Sinha to make travel documentaries.

Asked why police didn't show Shifat's laptop and camera in the seizure list, Ashik Billah said they would ask Shifat whether those items had been seized from him.

The Rab official said that if Shifat makes such a claim, they would also quiz the policemen involved in preparing the seizure list.

He further said their main objective is to find out the real culprits and the reasons why such an unexpected incident had taken place.

Replying to a query, he said both Shifat and Shipra are safe and now staying in their relatives' houses.

Ashik said he didn't know anything about Shifat being whisked away from the jail gate in a vehicle without any number plate upon his release.

Shifat, who was accompanying Sinha, is a key witness in the case. He was present at the scene when Sinha was shot. He had been in police custody after the incident on July 31.

The following day, he was shown arrested in two cases filed by SI Nandadulal, who was later made an accused in the Sinha murder case.

Yesterday, Rab official Jamil Ul Haque, the IO of the case and assistant superintendent of police, filed a petition with the Teknaf Upazila Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court, seeking 10-day remand for four of the accused -- suspended ASI Litan Miah and constables Kamal Hossain, Abdullah Al Mamun and Safanur Karim.

The court will hear the petition tomorrow, said Ashik.

Earlier, a Cox's Bazar court had allowed the IO of the case to interrogate the four accused for two days at jail gate.

Maj (retd) Sinha, 36, had been making travel documentaries for a YouTube channel called "Just Go". On July 31, he was returning to Cox's Bazar from Teknaf. His car was stopped at Shaplapur on Marine Drive.

Police claimed that they tried to search the vehicle, and Sinha aimed his pistol at them prompting them to shoot back in self-defence. They also claimed that they seized drugs from the vehicle.

However, witnesses gave a different account of the incident. They said Sinha got down from his car, put his hands over his head, and then police shot him.

RAOWA DEMAND

Retired Army Officers' Welfare Association (RAOWA) Chairperson Maj (Retd) Khandaker Nurul Afser yesterday said the superintendent of police in Cox's Bazar must also be brought to book.

"Since a RAOWA member has been murdered, we will implore all levels of the state so that the investigation is fair and justice is served," Afser told journalists at the house of slain Maj (retd) Sinha yesterday.

The RAOWA chairperson paid a visit to Sinha's mother Nasima Akhter to offer his condolence.

Nasima echoed similar thoughts and also expressed satisfaction over the prosecution of ex-OC of Teknaf Police Station Pradeep and Inspector Liaqat Ali.

While this is a satisfying step in the positive direction, the system must be changed to make society more humane, she said.

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