The arrest of three members of Cox's Bazar Armed Police Battalion (APBn) in connection with the murder of retired Army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan has added a new dimension to the investigation.
The investigating agency, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), arrested the APBn members yesterday morning over their alleged involvement into the killing.
The arrestees are Assistant Sub-Inspector Shahjahan and two constables – Rajib and Abdullah. They were on duty at the APBn check-post on the Cox's Bazar Marive Drive on the July 31 night when Sinha was killed.
A RAB-15 official, involved in the investigation, told The Business Standard that the three APBn members could give them a lead to the investigation as the killing took place at the APBn check-post in Teknaf's Shamlapur area.
He also said prime accused Liakat Ali came to the check-post just a few minutes before Sinha's arrival and barricaded the road with a drum when the Baharchhara Investigation Centre's policemen were on plainclothes. So, the on-duty APBn members observed what happened there.
Meanwhile, a Cox's Bazar court on Tuesday placed the APBn members on a 7-day remand in connection with the case.
Tamanna Farah, the judge of Teknaf Senior Judicial Magistrate Court-3, granted the remand after the RAB produced them before the court with a 10-day remand plea.
With these arrests, the number of the people arrested in Sinha's murder rose to 13.
Ten others, arrested earlier in the case, are suspended OC Pradeep Kumar Das, Inspector Liakat A, SI Nanda Dulal Rakkhit, SI Liton, Constables Safanur Karim, Kamal Hossain and Abdullah Al Mamun, and three witnesses in the Sinha murder case filed by police – Nurul Amin, Nizam Uddin and Mohammad Ayas from Marishbunia of Teknaf's Baharchhara area.
RAB grills 3 prime accused
The RAB on Tuesday took three prime accused, including Teknaf police station's ex-OC Pradeep, on a 7-day remand in the case.
Lt Col Ashique Billah, director of RAB's legal and media wing, confirmed it to The Business Standard.
The other two accused are – Baharchhara Investigation Centre's Inspector Liakat and Sub-Inspector Nanda Dulal.
RAB Investigation Officer Khairul Islam took the three in their custody from Cox's Bazar jail gate on Tuesday morning.
The ex-OC and others were seen handcuffed at that time. Later, they were taken to the RAB-15 headquarters in Cox's Bazar.
A RAB official related to the case confirmed they started grilling the three to match all the information they gained from other accused and witnesses with that of these three.
"We will interrogate them to know the fact whether it was pre-planned and will also quiz Pradeep and Liakat face-to-face," he said, on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, the home ministry's high-level investigation committee on August 17 completed the interrogation without quizzing ex-OC Pradeep.
The committee quizzed the other two key accused – Liakat and Nanda Dulal – for seven hours at the Cox's Bazar jail gate.
They were supposed to interrogate Pradeep on Tuesday 11am, but the RAB took custody of the three before the committee arrived there, said a deputy jailer.
Another murder case against ex-OC Pradeep
Another murder case has been filed against suspended OC Pradeep Pradeep and 27 others with Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Court for allegedly shooting a young man dead even after the victim's family paid them Tk5 lakh in ransom.
Gol Cheher, the mother of slain Saddam Hossain and a resident of Moulvibazar area under Teknaf's Hnila union, filed the case on Tuesday.
Judge Md Helal Uddin ordered the Criminal Investigation Department to submit a report after having the case probed by an officer of the rank of an assistant superintendent of police.
Gol Cheher mentioned in the case statement that Pradeep and Kowaikang Police Outpost In-Charge Mashiur Rahman arrested his son Saddam Hossain and demanded Tk10 lakh for his release.
Allegedly, Gol Cheher gave them Tk5 lakh but the policemen killed her son because she could not provide them with the rest of the ransom money.