Former Rab official Lt Commander Masud Rana was involved in the killing of seven people, including Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam, and dumping their bodies in the Shitalakkhya.
This was disclosed in a report submitted to Senior Judicial Magistrate M Mohiuddin of Narayanganj yesterday by Mamunur Rashid Mandal, investigating officer of the murder case.
Court Sub-inspector Ashraf read out the report to the court on behalf of Mandal, also officer-in-charge of the district Detective Branch of police, reports our Narayanganj correspondent.
The IO in his report said he had gleaned the information from the ex-Rab official during primary interrogation.
Police produced Masud Rana in court yesterday upon completion of his eight-day remand. The court placed the arrestee on a fresh remand for five days.
The report also claimed that Rana had been on very good terms with Nur Hossain, the prime accused in the case.
When two other accused, ex-Rab officials Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad and Maj Arif Hossain, were produced before another Narayanganj court on May 30, the IO claimed in a report that the two were involved in the seven-murder.
The three Rapid Action Battalion (Rab) officials were fired and later arrested for their alleged involvement in the abduction and killing of the seven people in Narayanganj late in April. The killers punctured their stomachs, stuffed the bodies in sacks, tied them up to bricks and dumped the sacks in the Shitalakkhya.
A Rab investigation team interrogated six people, including two policemen, at Shiddhirganj Power Station from 10:00am to 6:00pm yesterday.
An eyewitness to the incident, Shahidul Islam, was grilled by the team. Talking to The Daily Star, he said he had seen Rab officials abduct Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam and six others.
“I had picked up my daughter from college and was on my way home in Bandar around 1:00pm in the afternoon on the day of the incident. As I crossed the Fatullah stadium, I saw one microbus, two Rab pick up vans and two private cars parked by the road. Some people in Rab uniform looked on while a plainclothes man was making several get off the private cars at gunpoint,” he mentioned.
“Intrigued by the scene, I went ahead and asked the Rab about the criminals they caught. A Rab official came up and told me to get lost. I obliged. Later on, as allegations of abduction against the Rab unfolded, I started wondering about what I had seen,” added the witness.
He earlier had given a confessional statement to a court under Section 164.
Rab officials also quizzed Nazrul's father-in-law Shahidul Islam. Talking to this newspaper, Shahidul, locally known as Shahid Chairman, said the Rab men asked him about his claim that the elite force had received a bribe of Tk 6 crore from Nur Hossain for killing the seven.
“I told them that when Nazrul's life was in danger, I employed a spy on Nur Hossain's men. The spy informed me that Tk 6 crore had changed hands,” mentioned Shahidul.
He was further questioned about why he had claimed that the Rab helped Nur Hossain flee. He responded to interrogators saying: “According to some leaked telephone conversations, the Rab had been tracking Nur before and after the murder. Then why didn't the Rab nab him?”
PROBE PROGRESS REPORTS
The government has sent to the attorney general's office three progress reports on the probes into the seven-murder incident for placement in the High Court tomorrow.
The seven-member probe body, inspector general of police and director general of Rab have sent the reports to the AG's office through their representatives in the last two days.
Deputy Attorney General ASM Nazmul Haque told this newspaper that the attorney general will place the reports to the HC tomorrow. But he refused to disclose the contents of the reports.
The HC on May 15 had directed the authorities concerned to submit the probe progress reports before it on June 4.