The haze over how many people have been detained over the killing of Old Dhaka youth Biswajit Das refuses to recede as the government contradicts police.
Prime Minister’s Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad echoed Home Minister MK Alamgir’s claim saying 11 people had been detained. The number however does not match the figure provided by police.
Worse still, police have provided incompatible information in the court.
On Thursday, MK Alamgir put the number of detainees at 11 and Azad backed him up in the evening.
Earlier in the day, Deputy Attorney General Amit Talukder told the High Court that one Mahfuzur Rahman Nahid was arrested in the case and law enforcers were trying to capture others.
Police had secured permission from a Dhaka court to show four persons arrested in the case.
The four men on the list were – Mamun-or-Rashid, Faruk Hossain, Kazi Nahiduzzaman Tuhin and Moslehuddin Moslem.
But a statement issued by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police in the evening said three arrests had been made so far. One of them was Nahid and the others are HM Kibria and Qaiyum Mia Tipu, both students of Jagannath University.
Biswajit Das, who ran a tailor shop, was beaten and hacked to death during the 18-Party Alliance’s road blockade programme across Bangladesh on Dec 9.
Reports and footages ran in the media identified the assailants as pro-government Bangladesh Chhatra League’s (BCL) Jagannath University unit activists.
Police claimed they had detained Mamun, Faruk, Tuhin and Moslem after identifying them from the video footage. They were detained from Dakkhinkhan, Demra and Badda areas in the capital.
The Jagannath University authorities have punished five of the attackers, including Nahid, who were identified through media reports.
An apparently irked Home Minister Alamgir on Thursday said, “There are 400 police officials working in Dhaka, and if asked none of them can provide complete news over any specific matter.
“We (the Ministry of Home Affairs) are able to provide the complete news as the complete news comes to us.”
Although fingers have been pointed at the pro-government BCL for its alleged involvement in the killing, Press Secretary Abul Kalam Azad dismissed the claims saying none of the accused was member of the ruling party’s student front.
“It has become a fashion of the BNP, [its ally]Jamaat-e-Islami and [their student front Islami Chhatra]Shibir to put the blame on the Awami League and its fronts after killings,” he said at a press briefing on Thursday.
Several students of Jagannath University have identified the attackers as members of the university unit of the BCL.
The Press Secretary said the identities of Biswajit’s killers will clarify that they are not members of the pro-government student front. He then elaborated named the five against whom the Jagannath University had taken action.
The Press Secretary alleged, “BNP and Jamaat are using [their student fronts]Chhatra Dal and Shibir as a tool to unleash anarchy in the country.”
He said the government would not spare the killers. “The perpetrators will be nabbed and punished no matter who they are. The Prime Minister firmly believes, killers and terrorists have no party identity.”