The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), along with the main three accused in the Sinha murder case–dismissed officer-in-charge (OC) Pradeep Kumar Das, inspector Liakat Ali and sub-inspector (SI) Nandadulal Rakshit–have visited Shamlapur Check Post in Baharchara on Marine Drive.
The investigating officer (IO) of the case, RAB 15 senior assistant superintendent of police Mohammad Khairul Islam, arrived at the spot with the three accused around 1:15pm on Friday.
RAB sources said they were taken to the spot to give detailed explanations of the shooting incident.
While inspecting the spot with the accused, RAB additional director general (operations) Tofail Mostafa Sarwar said, "The shooting of Major (retd) Sinha Mohammad Rashed took place within two minutes. The investigation team is trying to find out what happened in those two minutes and why he was shot."
"The probe committee is trying to determine how responsible Liakat Ali and Nandadulal were, in a process of cross-checking information provided by the accused during interrogation with the evidence recovered," he continued.
He added, "The investigation officer has scrutinised everything shown by the accused. The distance from checkpoint to checkpoint, the distance of the vehicle from the barricade and the distance of the eyewitnesses were all measured to understand the context in which the incident took place.
"Since this is a sensitive issue, nothing can be said in a hurry. It is not possible to say many things in the interest of the investigation," he said.
According to a RAB source, OC Pradeep Kumar initially blamed Liakat for Sinha's murder during the interrogation. However, when the audio recording of his phone call with Liakat, before and after the incident, was played, Pradeep went silent.
Later, Liakat and Pradeep were brought face to face and interrogated, and both of them then gave details of their involvement in the incident to the investigating officer.
However, the investigating officer did not agree to talk about it to the media.
Earlier, RAB Legal and Media Wing director Lt Colonel Ashiq Billah told reporters that the accused in remand in the Sinha murder case had provided sensational and important information. "The case is extremely sensitive, important and significant. Therefore, the investigation activities are being carried out with utmost caution and professionalism," she said.
Meanwhile, 13 people have been arrested in the case.
Ashiq Billah said seven of the nine accused in the case filed by Sinha's sister have been arrested. The investigating officer has applied to the superintendent of police to identify the other two.
Regarding the disappearance of CCTV footage from Teknaf police station, RAB media chief said, "If there is an accident, anyone can do it. The CCTV footage of the police station is also missing. We have applied to the court to get the CCTV footage. Hopefully, we will get it."
Car and other evidence handed over to RAB
The private car used by Major (retd) Sinha at the time of the murder has been handed over to RAB; along with other evidence seized from inside the vehicle.
Ramu Police also handed over 29 pieces of equipment, including laptops and cash, to RAB. They were recovered from Nilima Resort in Himchhari in Ramu upazila after the murder of Major Sinha.
Inquiry committee gets more time to submit report
The deadline for submitting the report, by the inquiry committee formed by the home ministry, has been extended. Although they were supposed to report on August 23, they have not been able to question former OC Pradeep yet. Therefore, the committee has asked the home ministry for seven more days, and the ministry has approved the application.
Convener of the inquiry committee Chattogram divisional additional commissioner Mizanur Rahman, said OC Pradeep Kumar, one of the key accused, has not yet been questioned; this will require at least one more week.
He also said that the committee will give recommendations to prevent the recurrence of such incidents; after analysing the incident.