With no significant progress in the investigation into the abduction and murder of the seven in Narayanganj, all cops of Fatullah and Siddhirganj police stations and Detective Branch members of the district have been transferred.
Mahfuzul Haq Nuruzzaman, deputy inspector general of Dhaka range police, told The Daily Star last night that he had issued the transfer order on recommendation of the government probe body.
“The transfer order is not a punitive measure. The step was taken to improve the image of police and bring transparency in law enforcement there,” he added.
The cops and the detectives have been given two days for the transfer.
Narayanganj has seven police stations.
Shibu Market area, near Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium, from where the seven were abducted on April 27 falls under Fatullah Police Station.
Residences of five of the abductees -- panel mayor Nazrul Islam and his four aides -- and the prime accused, Nur Hossain, are under Siddhirganj Police Station.
Earlier in the day, SP Khandaker Mahid Uddin said Akhter Hossain and Abdul Matin, officers-in-charge of Fatullah and Siddhirganj police stations, and Mahbubur Rahman and Abdul Awal, OCs of Naryanganj DB office, had been transferred for the sake of investigation.
Awal, who was investigation officer (IO) of the seven-murder case, was replaced by Mamunur Rashid Mondol for his alleged links with Nur Hossain. Our Narayanganj correspondent reports, OC Awal was posted to Barisal range.
Mamunur Rashid Mondol, officer-in-charge of Monohardi Police Station in Narsingdi, yesterday took over as the IO.
"We will take all out measures including interrogations of people from any quarter for fair investigation," he said in response to a query.
Later at night, the SP office told The Daily Star about the transfer order of 79 other cops, including 40 sub-inspectors.
Though none of the six accused could be arrested, police from Shibpur upazila of Narsingdi yesterday caught three persons, who are not named in the case.
The arrestees -- Mintu, Masuma, wife of an aide to Nur Hossain, and Tipu -- were placed on a three-day remand, Narayanganj SP said at a press briefing in his office at noon.
He did not give details of the three.
With this, a total of 15 people have been arrested in connection with the murder of the seven.
Also yesterday, the seven-member probe committee, formed to see whether any members of law enforcement agencies have direct or indirect involvement in the crimes, visited Naryanganj.
All the seven members of the civil body reached the city around 4:00am and first sat with senior officials from police and administration at the DC office.
Later, the committee talked to a number of witnesses, locals and police personnel to learn from where the bodies were recovered and in what conditions.
On Wednesday, the government formed the committee with additional secretary of the public administration ministry, Shahjahan Ali Molla, as the chairman also to determine whether any law enforcer was deliberately negligent in rescuing the abductees.
A local woman, Jesmin Begum, told the committee members at Char Dhaleshwari that she saw something like a human head while fetching water in the river. “I informed few others and later three bodies were found in the area,” she added.
Locals told the committee that the bodies might have been dumped at the confluence of three rivers and later those were floated ashore during tide.
Six of the bodies were found floating in the Shitalakkhya river on April 29 while another was recovered the following day.
The probe committee members also visited the spot from where the seven persons, also including senior lawyer Chandan Sarker, were abducted on April 27.
Asked whether the three Rab members, sent to forced retirement over alleged involvement in the abduction and murder, would be interrogated, the additional secretary told reporters that they would interrogate all related to the case.
The committee will submit a progress report to the High Court on May 15, said its chief.
Meanwhile, State Minister for Home Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said he had no idea whether the accused are in or outside the country. Talking to reporters at his Secretariat office yesterday, he said the accused would be arrested soon.
“We sent a list of the accused to all the agencies and departments engaged in the country's land, water and air boundaries,” he said, adding the list also include names of some persons suspected to be involved in the abduction and killing.
The state minister also said steps were taken so that the three Rab personnel cannot leave the country. “They are under strict vigilance.”
He earlier said the accused, including Nur Hossain, were hiding in the country.
Lawyers of Narayanganj Bar Association observed a one-hour token hunger strike at Narayanganj District Judge's Court premises yesterday demanding arrest of the killers. Noted jurist Dr Kamal Hossain attended it.
On Wednesday night, the son-in-law of Chandan Sarker filed a murder case with Fatullah Police Station against unnamed persons for killing abducting and killing the lawyer and his driver.
Police yesterday found “missing” trader Faizul Khan from a private hospital in the city. He was immediately produced at a press briefing at the district police office around 9:30pm.
Sylhet Superintendent of Police Nur E Alam Mina said at the briefing acting on a tip off, police recovered Faizul at 9:00pm from the United Polyclinic at Zindabazar, reported our staff correspondent.
Faizul claimed he was first taken to a hillock-type place Monday evening. There they kept him in a room and phoned his son for a ransom of Tk 10 lakh.
The unidentified men dropped him on a roadside place Wednesday night and from there he reached the hospital by a rickshaw, he added.
In Chandpur, Abdul Malek, 62, a retired railway official, was feared abducted from Fakirganj Rupsha Bazar on Wednesday night, our correspondent reported.
His brother filed a general diary with Faridganj police station in this connection.