Relatives of all the seven murder victims of Narayanganj in their testimonies before the administrative probe committee have held Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) responsible for the carnage. They have also demanded arrest of the three sacked RAB-11 members.
The committee recorded the statements of 25 people from seven families from 10:30am to 6pm on Saturday.
But the committee refused to speak to reporters afterwards.Committee chief Shahjahan Ali Molla remained tight-lipped on whether arresting or interrogating the sacked RAB members would help advance the investigation.
On Thursday, the committee arrived in Narayanganj and visited the spot on the bank of Shitalakhyya River where the bodies were found.
They interacted with the family members of the victims at the deputy commissioner’s office. The committee was formed by a High Court order after RAB was accused of being involved in the incident.
Slain Councillor Nazrul Islam’s wife Selina Islam Beauty, brother Abdus Salam and father-in-law Shahidul Islam were the first to appear before the committee.
“We have told the committee that RAB is involved in this incident. We have demanded that the RAB members involved in the killings be arrested and brought to book,” Shahidul told reporters after the meeting.
Asked whether he had named anyone, he said, “We’ve named former RAB-11 commanding officer Tarek Sayeed Mahmud, Arif Hossain and RAB-11 Narayanganj camp office chief MM Rana.”
On Apr 27, Narayanganj City Councillor Nazrul Islam and his four aides and senior lawyer Chandan Kumar Sarkar and his driver were abducted from the Dhaka-Chittagong highway.
Their bodies were retrieved from the river over two days. The councillor’s family members have been pointing the finger at RAB from the beginning.
However, the kidnapping case they filed named Siddhirganj Awami League leader Nur Hossain as the prime suspect.
On Apr 30, Shahidul alleged that Hossain had paid RAB Tk 60 million to carry out the crimes.
The three RAB officers were removed from Narayanganj after the abduction.
Following Shahidul’s allegations, the army forced them into retirement.
Tarek Sayeed Mahmud is the son-in-law of Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.
Shahidul told reporters he and his family were in constant fear. They had been threatened, he said.
He did not say, however, who had issued the threats. He went home under police protection after the interview.
Chandan Sarkar’s daughters Sejuti Sarker and Susmita Sarker were the next to testify before the committee. Their husbands Ranjit Debnath and Bijay Kumar Pal were also present.
Bijay Pal told reporters, “The probe team wanted to know whether we suspected anyone. We told them that from the very beginning and even after the murders, we suspected someone from a law-enforcing agency to have been linked to this.”
“But based on the recent newspaper reports and information, we think RAB-11 was involved.”
He also named the three officials of RAB-11 during his interview with the probe committee. After the first case was filed by Nazrul’s family, Pal had lodged the second case over the murders.
Advocate Chandan Sarkar on Apr 27 left the court premises in his car right after Nazrul left along with his four associates. Sarkar and his driver ‘Ibrahim’ were also killed along with the other five.
Sarkar’s family suspects that he and Ibrahim were killed because they witnessed Nazrul’s abduction.
After the meeting, Ibrahim’s wife Honufa Begum told reporters, “We have heard that people from the administration were involved in killing the seven including my husband. My husband didn’t know anything, he was killed when he was driving sir’s (Chandan Sarker) car.”
Along with her, Ibrahim’s father Abdul Wahab Miah, son ‘Rony’, sister ‘Rahima’ and nephew ‘Shakil’ were also present during the meeting with the investigation committee formed by the public administration ministry.
Md Jahangir was driving Councillor Nazrul’s car on the day of abduction. He was accompanied by Tajul Islam, Moniruzzaman Swapan and Sirajul Islam Liton.
Swapan’s family members including his father Haider Ali Khan, wife Morsheda Begum, two daughters and his brother ‘Ripon’ met the committee too.
Speaking with journalists, Ripon said Nazrul and Nur Hossain were having a dispute over a business at Adamjee EPZ.
Hossain’s men had also taken away three vehicles loaded with discarded clothes only a few months ago, he said.
“After that, my brother had kept saying that he and Nazrul were in trouble, and anything can happen anytime,” Ripon added.
Swapan’s family also told the committee that Nur Hossain paid RAB to carry out the murders.
From Jahangir’s family, his pregnant wife Samsunnahar Nupur, mother Meherun Nesa, brothers Shahjahan Saju and Shahbuddin appeared before the investigators.
Tajul’s family included his mother Taslima, father Abul Khayer and brother Saiful Islam Raju.
Liton’s elder brother Rafiqul Islam and younger brother Saiful Islam Mintu also met the committee.
The probe team chief, Shahjahan Molla, after interviewing everyone, told reporters that they would not divulge any information gathered from the meetings for the sake of the investigation. – bdnews24.com