Two former Rab officials, who were allegedly involved in the abduction and murder of seven people including Narayanganj city panel mayor Nazrul Islam, were placed on a five-day remand.
The former officials of Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) are Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad and Maj Arif Hossain.
Lt Col Tareque was the commanding officer of Rab-11 when the crime took place. Maj Arif Hossain was also posted at the Rab unit.
Narayanganj police arrested Col Tareque and Maj Arif with the help of cantonment police around 4:15am, reports our district correspondent quoting local Superintendent of Police Khandaker Mahid Uddin.
Police however said they do not have any information on the whereabouts of the other Rab official, Commander SM Masud Rana, who is from Navy.
Around 11 hours into their arrest, the Court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Chadni Rupam in Narayanganj placed the two former Rab officials on remand.
Police produced them before the court at 2:03pm with a 10-day remand prayer, our correspondent reported from the spot.
The Rab officials did not ask for any lawyers as Tareque spoke for them at the court.
Claiming innocence, Tarerque blamed the media for writing against them, saying that the reports “tarnished their image”.
Meanwhile, lawyers waged demonstration at the court premises as the court granted only five-day remand for the arrestees.
They also reproached that the duo was not handcuffed when they were produced before the court, AKM Fazlur Rahman, additional public prosecutor of Narayanganj, told The Daily Star.
The three officials were sent to retirement on May 6 over the allegation of their involvement with the killings.
Originally from the army, the two were on deputation in Rab-11 in Narayanganj. Of them, Lt Col Tareque is son-in-law of Disaster Management and Relief Minister Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya.
The three Rab officials were fired after Shahidul Islam, father-in-law of Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam, who was abducted on April 27 along with six others and killed later, claimed that some Rab officials killed the seven in exchange of Tk 6 crore from Nur Hossain, the prime accused, and other suspects.
Narayanganj police yesterday said they had stepped up their move to arrest Lt Col Tareque and Maj Arif after receiving the defence ministry letter that said there was no legal bar to arresting them.
The trio is not accused in the case filed by Nazrul's widow, but the High Court on May 11 ordered the inspector general of police to "immediately" nab them as suspects.
On April 27, Nazrul and his four aides and Chandan and his driver were kidnapped from the Dhaka-Narayanganj link road around the same time in broad daylight.
Six bodies, including those of Nazrul and Chandan, were found floating in the Shitalakkhya river on April 30, and another was found the following day. The other victims are Moniruzzaman Swapan, Tajul Islam, Liton, Jahangir and Ibrahim.
More than two weeks on, police have failed to arrest any of the six accused, but nabbed 21 suspects.