The enquiry committee formed by the Home Ministry has finally met Pradeep Kumar Das, the suspend officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf Police Station and one of the accused in the retired major Sinha Md Rashed Khan murder case.
The committee interrogated Pradeep at the Cox's Bazar District Jail gate from 11am to 5.30pm on Wednesday. This was confirmed by Cox's Bazar District Jail Superintendent Mokammel Hossain.
He said, "The home ministry enquiry team led by Mizanur Rahman arrived at the jail gate and interrogated OC Pradeep over the killing of major Sinha."
Earlier, the home ministry investigation committee could not meet Pradeep as he was in continuous remand for 15 days by Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), the interrogation agency of the Sinha murder case.
Consequently, there was a repeated delay in the submission of the investigation report by this home ministry probe team. So, the probe body applied for time again for the third time on August 31. Now, it has to submit the investigation report by 7 September.
Pradeep, 52 more accused in two more killings
Two more cases were filed on Wednesday against 53 people, including Pradeep Kumar Das, on charges of killing Musa Akbar, 35, and Sahab Uddin in gunfights in Huaikong Union of Teknaf Upazila in Cox's Bazar.
Shahena Akhter, wife of victim Musa Akbar and Hafez Ahmed, the elder brother of Sahab Uddin, filed the cases at the court of Helal Uddin, Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate (Teknaf-3).
In one of the cases, Mashiur Rahman, in-charge of Huaikong police outpost, was made the chief and Pradeep was the second accused. And in the other case, Sub-Inspector (SI) Deepak Biswas was made the prime accused, while Pradeep was named as the third accused.
So far, seven murder cases have been filed against suspended OC Pradeep. The court is waiting for the investigation report of the cases.
According to the case statement of the Musa Akbar murder, a team of police from Teknaf Police Station burnt the residence of Ali Akbar on February 27, the elder brother of the slain Musa Akbar.
Later, the family arranged a press conference over the matter which made the police furious.
On the night of March 28, police picked-up Musa from his residence and demanded Tk20 lakh from his family for not killing him in crossfire.
But Musa's family managed to pay only Tk3 lakh. Later, Musa Akbar was shot dead in the name of crossfire that morning.
The plaintiff's lawyer Riduan Ali said, the court has taken cognisance of the criminal case and directed the OC of Teknaf Police Station to inform the court within the next 10 working days whether there was any case in this regard.
Separately, the case statement of the deceased Sahab Uddin, the plaintiff mentioned that on 17 April, 2019, a group of police led by Teknaf Police Station SI Deepak Biswas took Sahab Uddin away from his house.
Later, they demanded Tk5 lakh from Sahab Uddin' family for not killing him in crossfire.
The family paid Tk50,000. But Sahab Uddin was shot dead in the name of crossfire in Kanjarpara paddy field on the night of April 20 for not paying the remaining Tk450,000.
Shah Alam, the lawyer of the plaintiff in the case, said the court has taken cognisance of the criminal case and directed the OC of Teknaf Police Station to inform the court within the next 15 working days if there was any case related to the incident.
Three witnesses in police case gave confessional statements
Meanwhile in another development in the day, three witnesses ─ in the case filed by the police in connection with the Sinha murder ─ gave confessional statements on the first day of their three-day remand in the third phase.
The witnesses were brought to the court of Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah at around 11am on Wednesday.
Earlier, the investigating agency took them to Cox's Bazar Sadar Hospital for a health check-up.
The witnesses who gave the statement are: Nurul Amin, Nizam Uddin and MdAyas, all hailing from Marishbunia area in Teknaf.
The three were produced in the court of Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah around 12 noon on September 1. And a four-day remand was sought, while the court granted a three-day remand to the witnesses.
On August 25, the investigating officer and RAB Senior ASP Mohammad Khairul Islam, produced them in the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah and applied for a seven-day remand.
After the hearing, Judge Tamanna Farah granted a four-day remand in the second phase. Earlier, a seven-day remand of the witnesses ended in the first phase on August 20.
It is mentionable that former army officer Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan was killed in police firing at Shamlapur check post in Teknaf on the night of July 31.
The incident occurred when he was returning to Himchhari in Cox's Bazar by driving his car along the Marine Drive, after filming for a documentary on a hill in Marishbunia.
Sinha's elder sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous filed a murder case at the Cox's Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Court on August 5 over the incident.
Nine people were accused in this case. Seven policemen accused in the case surrendered at court, and later they were suspended.
After Sinha's murder, RAB arrested three witnesses in the case filed by the police. The elite force also arrested three more APBn members on charges of involvement in the killing. A total of thirteen accused are in jail now.
Earlier, five of them gave confessional statements after their remand.
Police had filed two cases in Teknaf and Ramu Police Stations over the same incident. Sinha's companions Sifat and Shipra were imprisoned under these cases.
Later, another case was filed against unidentified accused at Teknaf police station on charges of abducting witnesses.
So far, five cases have been lodged in this regard, while RAB-15 is investigating four of the cases.