The probe committee formed by the home ministry to investigate the killing of retired army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan in the Cox's Bazar police firing has sought seven additional working days to submit its report.
Earlier, the deadline for submitting the probe report over the case was fixed on August 23.
When asked, Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, additional divisional commissioner of Chattogram and convener of the investigation committee, told The Business Standard that they could not interrogate one of the prime accused – suspended Officer-in-Charge of Teknaf Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das – yet.
"We started quizzing the three prime accused at Cox's Bazar jail gate on Monday. On the first day, we questioned Liakat Ali and Nandadulal Rakshit for around six hours.
"We were supposed to interrogate the other prime accused Pradeep the following day at 11 am. However, the investigation agency – the Rapid Action Battalion – took the trio into their custody on Tuesday morning," he added.
"Without quizzing Pradeep, we cannot complete the investigation. For this reason, we have sought the additional time," the Mizanur Rahman noted.
Seven accused sent to jail after remand
Meanwhile, a Cox's Bazar court sent seven accused, including four police officers, in the Sinha murder case to jail after they had been produced before court on Thursday following a seven-day remand.
The accused are Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Liton Mia, Constables Safanur Rahman, Kamal Hossain and Abdullah Al Mamun, and three witnesses in the case filed by the police – Md Nurul Amin, Md Nezamuddin and Mohammad Ayash.
Earlier on August 12, Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah granted seven-day remand for the seven accused after hearing the remand plea of the investigating officer.
Two days after the remand application was granted the RAB took the accused into its custody after performing their medical check-up in Cox's Bazar District Sadar Hospital.
RAB gets "vital information"
"Vital information regarding the murder case has been disclosed by the accused during the remand," said RAB Director Lt Col Ashiq Billah at a press briefing on Wednesday. He added that the information would be cross-checked. The RAB director did not disclose the information for the sake of the investigation.
"All the necessary statements, including the statements of the accused, evidence of the incident, necessary data and eyewitness testimony are being taken in order to make the investigation of the case objective.
"In fact, we have already done most of the things. The court on Wednesday directed the police to hand over the seized 29 items, including the hard disk, to us on the request of the investigating officer," said Lt Col Ashiq Billah. He expected to get those things by Thursday.
Regarding the missing CCTV footage of Teknaf Police Station, Lt Col Ashiq Billah said, "We have applied to the court to get the CCTV footage. I hope we will get that too."
In response to a question about the freezing of bank accounts of several people, including the superintendent of Cox's Bazar police, he said they need information about the bank accounts of those people for proper investigation of the case.
However, the six accused who are still in RAB custody are suspended OC Pradeep Kumar Das, Baharchhara police outpost's Inspector Liakat Ali, Sub-Inspector Nanda Dulal Rakkhit and three Armed Police Battalion (APBn) members – Assistant Sub-Inspector Shahjahan and two constables Rajib and Abdullah.
On the night of July 31, Major (retd) Sinha Rashed Khan was killed in police firing on Cox's Bazar Marine Drive.
Sinha's sister Sharmin Shahria Ferdous filed a case at the Teknaf Upazila Judicial Magistrate court on August 5, accusing Teknaf police station Officer-in-Charge Pradeep, Baharchhara check-post In-Charge Liakat and seven other policemen of the killing of her brother.
The following day, OC Pradeep surrendered before court.
Five days later, the RAB detained the three people from the Marishbunia area of Baharchhara in Teknaf in connection with the murder. All of them were named as witnesses in the cases filed by police against Shipra Debnath and Shahedul Islam Sifat, who were arrested following Sinha's death.