The mystery surrounding the murder of Awami League leader Zahidul Islam Tipu will be unravelled soon, said Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal.
"We will soon reveal the names of the masterminds," he added after placing wreath at the Liberation War Memorial on the premises of Rajarbagh Police Lines in Dhaka on Saturday.
However, the home minister refused to comment on the speculations of the assassination being a politically motivated one.
Replying to a query, the minister said, "We do not want to draw any conclusions right now."
Zahidul Islam Tipu, former general secretary of Awami League's Motijheel police station committee, and Samia Afrin Priti, a 22-year-old student of BegumBadrunnesa Government College, were killed when an assailant opened fire at them in the capital's Khilgaon Rail-Gate area on Thursday (24 March) night.
The assailant shot 12 rounds of bullets just within 20 seconds, and it was not a movie. This horrific incident took place on a city road amid huge traffic.
The driver and a passenger of the white-coloured microbus were brutally shot, especially the latter, who was shot 6-7 times while the driver was shot twice.
The shots, fired in rapid succession, shattered the left side glasses of the car before hitting Jahidul Islam Tipu.
He was shot in the throat, chest and abdomen, among other body parts. At least 10-12 bullets hit the victim and his driver Monir Hossain Munna, 34, according to the inquest report that detailed the brutal shooting.
"It was as if someone was taking revenge and poured all of his grudge while shooting. Indiscriminate shooting also suggests that he might have panicked or was not a professional hitman. Professional killers never fire indiscriminately, they only shoot at the target. It wouldn't hit the adjacent rickshaw like it did in this case," a ballistic expert of the Criminal Investigation Department told The Business Standard, wishing anonymity.
College student Samia Afran Jamal Prity- who was on a rickshaw on her way to a friend's place in Khilgaon was also shot during this time.
The on-duty doctor of Dhaka Medical College Hospital pronounced Tipu and Prity dead when they were taken to hospital.
Is it connected to Milky murder case?
Juba League's Dhaka Metropolitan (south) unit organising secretary Reazul Haque Khan Milky was gunned down in a similar pattern on 30 July 2013. He died after being shot several times in the head in front of Shoppers World in Gulshan. A CCTV camera in the shopping mall picked up the entire incident.
While being accused in Milky murder case, Jahidul Islam Tipu, then Motijheel AL general secretary, was granted a four-week interim bail on 23 July 2014. However, when he surrendered before the metropolitan magistrate court on 20 August 2014 after the bail period the court sent him to jail for alleged involvement in the murder of Milky.
Later on 23 September 2015, the CID submitted the supplementary charge-sheet before the court against 18 accused, excluding Tipu, and a few others. Trial of the much-talked-about Milky murder case has not been completed yet though nine years have passed since the sensational killing. Sources said the Milky murder trial has remained stuck due to non-appearance of prosecution witnesses.
Asked if the recent killing is related to the Milky murder case, DMP's Motijheel Division Deputy Commissioner Abdul Ahad told the media that primary investigation implies a planned murder and that the killers have been following Tipu to accomplish the killing.
Two individuals carried out the killing while more are likely involved, he said.
"We have got the motorcycle's licence plate number and learnt that the deceased had received several threat calls four-five days back. We are analysing all the information and hopefully will solve the puzzle," he added.
"We would not come to the conclusion at this point that the killing was Milky murder revenge but we are analysing every equation," a police official said.
Farzana Islam Doly, 40, wife of Tipu and a reserved-seat counsellor of Dhaka South City Corporation, told the media that her husband had been the Motijheel AL unit general secretary for last ten years.
Pointing out feuds within the ruling party, Doly said, "If you go talk to local people, they will probably be able to tell you who might have killed my husband."
Local people, however, declined to talk over the matter.
What's the fault of the college girl?
"To whom will I seek justice? Allah is the only justice giver. Is there anything called 'justice' in the country?" aggrieved Jamal Uddin, father of deceased college girl Prity, told the media.
"What happened to my daughter is unintentional. No parent should see their child die in that way, it is unbearable," said the grieving father.
Asked if they would file a case, he said they are not interested in filing any case.
"We are innocent people. I live an ordinary life and we are a family of freedom fighters. May Allah guide people and instill peace inside them," he said.
"She was on her way home from her friend's place. We called her and told to stay at her friend's house as her uncle came from hometown. She was then returning back to Khilgaon when the incident happened. If we had not asked her that, she would have been alive now," Jamal Udiin broke down in tears.