Former Teknaf police officer Pradeep Kumar Das planned Sinha murder, and he was directly involved in it. Using police uniform, the former cop built his empire of illegal activities including yaba smuggling, and the discovery of it led to the killing of Major (retd) Sinha Md Rashed Khan, said Rapid Action Battalion (RAB).
In a media briefing Sunday in Dhaka, RAB Director (Legal and Media Wing) Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah updated the press about the charge-sheet the battalion submitted to a Cox's Bazar court in the morning accusing 15 people.
The investigation of the elite unit of police seemed to have answered the questions which perplexed an earlier home ministry inquiry – whether police's self-defence prompted Sinha killing or it was a pre-planned murder.
Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah said Sinha collected sensitive information over former police Officer-in-Charge (OC) Pradeep's yaba smuggling which, if revealed, could endanger the OC's life and job. Therefore, he planned the murder at the police station and confirmed Sinha's death after police firing.
Sinha was shot by police at Shamlapur police check post on Cox's Bazar-Teknaf Marine Drive on 31 July. After being informed, the then Teknaf OC Pradeep turned up the scene and confirmed the ex-military official's death by delaying to take him to hospital, said RAB.
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According to the battalion, the accused staged a "robbery drama" to cover up the killing, and subsequently filed three fake cases.
'Outgoing' Sinha had 'sensational' info against Pradeep
RAB in the press briefing said Sinha was very outgoing and quickly developed a warm relationship with Teknaf locals as he was making a documentary there for his youtube channel.
The locals told him about the repressions of OC Pradeep. Sinha also in his personal inquiry found the ex-OC's involvement in drug smuggling.
He collected some information which, if disclosed, could have put Pradeep into trouble. Sinha also went to Teknaf Police Station to interview Pradeep over the matter, RAB said.
At that time, Pradeep told Sinha and his documentary crew to refrain from such activities and threatened them directly. But Sinha wanted to continue his work.
Later, Pradeep held a meeting with Sub-Inspector Liaqat and three of his sources at the police station. Pradeep instructed them to finalise the murder plan.
The mid-July murder plan, they rehearsed it too
Pradeep, Liaqat and three local police sources finalised the killing at Teknaf Police Station on a mid-July night.
Another former Teknaf police Sub-Inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit and three other Armed Police Battalion (APBn) also supported the plan and they promised Pradeep to aid the execution.
In the third week of July, Liaqat and three sources met again to outline the details of the drama to cover up the murder, said RAB Director Lieutenant Colonel Ashique Billah.
On the night of the police firing, the accused also acted as if they wanted to save wounded Sinha by taking him to a local hospital, RAB said.
Sefat-Shipra dropped from cases
Apart from the murder case filed by Sinha's sister, RAB was investigating three cases filed by police against the retired army officers two filming crew.
RAB said they did not find the narcotics and arms charges against the crews – private university students Shipra Debnath and Shahadul Islam Sefat – and submitted the final report to court with the finding.
In an instant reaction to the development, Sefat told The Business Standard that he now feels good after months of gloom and struggle.
Sinha's family satisfied, wait until the final verdict
Sinha's sister Shahrim Shahriar Ferdous -- also the plaintiff of the Sinha murder case -- expressed satisfaction over RAB investigation and charge-sheet in the case.
"We are satisfied, but the final satisfaction would come after the capital punishment of all the accused,"' she added.
"We are not claiming that the then Cox's Bazar Superintendent of Police ABM Masud Hossain was involved in the murder, but he knew the incident. But it is disappointing that he allowed his subordinate officers to go ahead with the fake narcotics cases."
RAB in the press conference said that they recommended the departmental action against the former Cox's Bazar SP for misdirecting the killing.
One of the accused still on the run
On Sunday noon, RAB-15 Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Khairul Islam – the investigation officer of the case – submitted the 26-page charge-sheet to Cox's Bazar senior judicial magistrate's court.
Of them, 14 are currently in jail and one of OC Pradeep's associates named Sagar has been shown as a fugitive.
The accused are former Teknaf OC Pradeep Kumar Das, former Baharchhara Investigation Centre's Inspector Liaqat Ali, former Sub-Inspector Nandadulal Rakshit, former SI Liton Miah and former constable Safanur Karim, constable Abdullah Al Mamun, constable Mohammad Mostafa, Armed Police Battalion's ex-Sub-Inspector Mohammad Shahjahan, ex-constable Md Rajib, ex-constable Mohammad Abdullah, former Teknaf Police constable Rubel Sharma, former constable Sagar Deb, and three local villagers Nurul Amin, Mohammad Ayaz and Nejamuddin.
RAB submitted the charge-sheet after 130 days of the killing, and the investigating officer made 83 several people as witnesses of the cases.
Of the accused, 12 individuals have already confessed before the court while Pradeep and his bodyguard Rubel Sharma did not confess.