Shahbagh police have been unable to make any significant development in the past three months in investigating the reported theft of a service pistol and 16 rounds of bullets from the police station on May 5.
They have so far detected a person from CCTV footage who they think is the suspect – a youth of medium height, aged 25-26, with a beard, wearing a chequered shirt and a black backpack on his shoulder.
He was seen entering the police station premises twice on the day of the incident. The police suspect that the second time he entered the station, he stopped by the restroom for about two-three minutes.
“It is nearly impossible for a lone outsider to steal something from a police station, unless he has help from an insider,” said a police officer, seeking anonymity. “How did he know that Himangshu [custodian of the weapon] was going to be in the washroom at that exact moment?”
He concluded that some police official was behind this theft. “We suspect that the youth was nothing but a carrier,” he added.
The official also said they were suspecting the youth to be a militant.
ASI Himangshu Saha was temporarily suspended following the theft.
Asked why they were suspecting the involvement of militant groups, the official said: “Based on the youth’s getup. In recent times, we caught many active members of Hizb ut-Tahrir or Ansar-al-Islam, dressed up in the same casual manner.”
Speaking to The Business Standard, investigation officer of the case, Sub-Inspector Monjur Hossain, said: “We applied for the list of phone calls that were made to and from the police station area during the time of the theft as CCTV footage showed the suspect calling and talking to someone over the phone frequently.
“We received the call list only 15 days ago,” he said, adding that there are over 70,000 numbers that need to be checked to find out who the suspect was talking to.
“It will take a long time for me to investigate this by myself,” Monjur added.
The police have already taken statements of 13 police officers of Shahbag police station, who were present there on the day of the incident.
No one has yet confessed to their involvement in the matter, said the investigation officer.
The investigation officer further said that the Detective Branch’s Ramna Zonal team is also working to recover the stolen weapon.
DB Ramna Zonal Team’s Additional Deputy Commissioner Hasan Arefin said: “We are not officially investigating the case. We are doing it from our moral responsibility. However, still there are no big developments into the investigation.”