Irfan Salim got off scot-free, his bodyguard charged in drugs, arms case
Following a raid on Haji Salim’s Old Dhaka residence, final reports were submitted to a Dhaka court on Monday in two cases filed by the Rapid Action Battalion with Chawkbazar Police Station
Police have dropped charges of illegal arms and drug possession against Irfan Salim, son of Awami League lawmaker Haji Salim, on the grounds of "insufficient information" in the First Information Reports.
Following a raid on Haji Salim's Old Dhaka residence, final reports were submitted to a Dhaka court on Monday in two cases filed by the Rapid Action Battalion with Chawkbazar Police Station.
However, police pressed charges against Irfan's bodyguard Zahidul Islam in both cases.
On October 26, Navy Lieutenant Wasif Ahmed Khan filed a case against Irfan and his associates for assaulting him at the Kalabagan crossing the night after Salim's vehicle hit his motorbike.
After the assault, RAB carried out a nine-hour-long raid and recovered firearms and drugs, eventually filing two cases against Irfan and Zahidul.
During the raid, RAB seized at least 38 walkie-talkie sets, three very high frequency sets, two pistols, two handcuffs, a router, six bottles of alcohol, a shooter gun, and 400 yaba pills.
More than two months later, Chawkbazar police submitted final reports in which charges against Irfan were dropped, but Zahidul was charge-sheeted in connection with the same raid.
Walid Hossain, deputy commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, explained to the media that the cases against Irfan had not made any references to "absolute possession".
The statements only mention that the arms and drugs were recovered in the presence of an executive magistrate, but he refused to provide any statement to the investigators, the police officer said.
However, he said that charges were pressed against Zahidul because arms and yaba had been recovered from his pocket and waist.
Chawkbazar police Officer-in-Charge Moudud Hawladar said information contained in the case statements was not an accurate reflection of reality, forcing the police to provide final reports.
Meanwhile, detectives at the Dhaka Metropolitan Police have made no major progress in investigating the assault case against the navy officer. According to investigators, the probe was still incomplete.
Four individuals, including Irfan, were sued, and arrested in the case filed with Dhanmondi Police Station. The other arrestees were Irfan's aides Zahidul, AB Siddique Dipu and driver Mizanur.
Irfan was twice taken into remand by the Detective Branch over the incident. Zahidul made confessional statements in the assault case.
A DB investigator said they had only received video footage (that had gone viral on social media after the incident), which showed the naval officer complaining about the assault by Irfan and his aides.
Investigators searched for video footage from close circuit cameras at Lab Aid Hospital, Science Laboratory intersection, Kalabagan intersection and other locations nearby, but to no avail.
"The CCTV camera closest to the site of the incident had malfunctioned," said the investigation officer.
Police were also unable to trace any witnesses to the incident. However, according to the DB officer, Zahidul had admitted to the assault, adding that investigators were now waiting for the navy officer's medical report.