Of the 24 accused in the Rifat murder case, eight are still absconding
Three months after the murder of Rifat Sharif, the police have not yet managed to arrest the eight of those charged in the crime.
"The police are not playing an active role in arresting the accused," said Chittoranjan Shil, president of the Barguna Press Club.
"Many lawyers assumed that there are inconsistencies in the charge sheet filed in the Rifat murder case. As a result, the accused might be spared," he added.
However, police denied the allegations. "We had no negligence in attempting to arrest the fugitives, but we still have not been able to apprehend them. However, efforts are on to arrest the eight accused," said Humayun Kabir, inspector of Barguna Sadar police station, who is also the investigation officer of the case.
General Secretary of Barguna District Citizens' Right Conversation Committee, Monir Hossain Kamal, also criticised police's efforts to apprehend the fugitives, saying law enforcement had shown professionalism after the video clip of the murder went viral.
"After arresting prime suspects, police focused on submitting the charge sheet as soon as possible. This shifted the focus from the others involved in the murder, and now, eight of the accused are still at large," he further added.
However, Dulal Sharif, Rifat's father and plaintiff of the Rifat murder case, said, "I have confidence on the police. I hope they will arrest the eight absconding culprits soon."
Rifat Sharif, an internet service provider in Barguna town, was hacked to death in broad daylight in front of his wife Ayesha Siddiqa Minni earlier in June this year.
His father lodged a murder case the following day.
Since then, police have charged 24 people, including Rifat's wife Minni. Of them, 16 have been arrested so far.
The eight accused who are absconding, are: Mohammad Musa, 22; Mohaiminul Islam Sifat, 19; Rakibul Hasan Rifat Howlader,15; Abu Abdullah Raihan, 16; Mohammad Naim, 17; Zakirul Hasan Niamot,15; Sayed Maruf Billah alias Mohibullah, 17; and Prince Mollah, 15.
Among them, Sifat, Musa and Raihan's names were included in the first information report.