A caller had warned Aklima Begum around six months before her son Sahinuddin was killed this week.
"Sumon and his gang are planning to kill Sahinuddin. He will be attacked at around 10am on Monday in the Ceramic Burirtek area. 20-25 people of four different groups have held a meeting regarding this. Please keep my name secret. Tell Sahinuddin to be careful" – this is how a phone call tipped off Aklima Begum around six months ago.
She received the call at 7:18pm on 22 November last year. The caller said he was present at the meeting.
Aklima went to Pallabi Police Station the next morning to file a general diary but police refused to record it.
Sahinuddin was attacked a day later near Ceramic gate no 2 in Pallabi's north Kalshi. After sprinkling chilli powder on his face, the attackers struck him indiscriminately with a machete.
A case was filed for the attack. But even after that, the primary accused, Mohammad Sumon, and his associates, were seen roaming around in public.
Sumon, a former joint secretary of Dhaka Metropolitan north Chhatra League, is currently involved in local Jubo League politics. A warrant was issued in his name in the case a few days ago and police arrested him based on that. But he was released on bail a day after his arrest, emboldened and belligerent.
Sahinuddin was killed on 16 May by a terrorist group led by Sumon. He was hacked to death with a machete in front of his seven-year-old son outside his house in Pallabi.
According to relatives of the deceased, four local terrorist gangs joined hands with MA Awal, managing director of Haveli Properties Developer Limited and former lawmaker of Lakshmipur-1, in a land dispute. The 4 gangs are the Dipu Gang, Rajan Gang, Abul Gang, and the Yaba Babu Gang.
Sahinuddin, 33, was killed for refusing to sell 10 acres of land worth about Tk5 crore.
Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Friday said Awal plotted at his Kalabagan office four to five days before the murder, to kill Sahinuddin, a land and real estate businessman.
"After the killing, Sumon called Awal and said 'sir, finished'," RAB Director (legal and media wing) Commander Khandaker Al Moin said at a press briefing.
Those involved in the killing went into hiding in Dhaka and elsewhere, he added.
RAB gave their video statement hours after arresting Awal in Kishoreganj's Bhairab for Sahinuddin's murder, the footage of which created quite a stir on social media.
Awal was the secretary general of Bangladesh Tarikat Federation, a member of the political alliance led by the Awami League. He was later expelled from the party. He was elected a lawmaker in the 2014 general elections.
"The involvement of the parties arrested for the murder was unearthd in primary interrogation," the RAB director said at the press conference.
Questioned, he said they had come to know from the victim's family that Awal had given Tk30 lakh for the killing.
He also said the murder had been committed over a land feud. Since 2004, Sahinuddin's family had had a feud with Awal over land in a project owned by the latter.
According to a RAB press release, in primary interrogation, those arrested said that when the crime was plotted at Awal's Kalabagan office, the second accused in the case, Taher, and the third, Sumon, were present there.
A Dhaka court on Friday placed Awal and two others on a four day remand each, in the case filed for Sahinuddin's killing. The two others are Zahirul Islam Babu and Nur Mohammad Hasan.
Metropolitan Magistrate Nivana Khair Jesi issued the remand order after the Detective Branch of Dhaka Metropolitan Police produced them in court seeking a 10 day remand, said Mohammad Selim Reza, court general recording officer.
In the remand petition, detectives said Awal was the mastermind of the killing and as per his direction, the others accused executed the plan.
Awal had enmity with the victim over land for a long time. Since he failed to grab the victim's land, he hired goons to kill him, said police.
On the other hand, the defence submitted separate petitions seeking bail and an annulment of the remand petition on grounds that their clients had been implicated in the case as part of a conspiracy to harass them.
The magistrate rejected the defence pleas upon hearing both sides.
Earlier, RAB arrested four people, including Awal, in the case. The three others are Babu, Hasan, and Sumon Bepari.
The fifth accused in the case, Manik, was killed in a shootout with police early Friday in Mirpur's Eastern Housing area.