The families of seven-murder victims in Naryanganj yesterday demanded arrest and interrogation of three “dismissed” Rab-11 personnel for a fair investigation.
In their statements to the government probe body, they also called upon law enforcers to detain and grill other officials of the elite force, if necessary, instead of harassing the innocents.
The committee recorded the depositions of 25 family members and relatives of the seven at Narayanganj deputy commissioner's office from 10:00am to 6:00pm yesterday.
Led by the additional secretary of public administration ministry, the seven-member committee is probing the April 27 abduction and subsequent murder of panel mayor Nazrul Islam, lawyer Chandan Sarkar and five others.
As part of the investigation, there will be mass hearings on May 12 and 15. Those willing to give depositions at the hearings have been asked to appear at the DC office from 10:00am.
Meanwhile, Siddhirganj Awami League yesterday decided to expel its vice-president Nur Hossain, the prime accused in the case, and general secretary Yasin Mia, another key accused.
In a two-and-a half-hour speech, Nazrul's wife Selina Islam described why and how Nur Hossain, also a ward councillor, “abducted her husband and killed him with the help of some Rab members”.
“Apart from feuds over tender and a road development project, my husband's popularity as politician was a reason behind his killing,” she told The Daily Star coming out of the DC office.
Nazrul's father-in-law told the probe body about the “involvement of Rab members and exchange of money for the killing”.
“I told them that all the facts will come to light if the three Rab members are seriously interrogated,” he said.
Bijoy Paul, son-in-law of Chandan, said, “Seeing media reports and other evidence, we came to know that Rab-11 members are involved in the abduction and the killing.”
Talking to reporters at the DC office, chief of the probe body, Additional Secretary Shahjahan Ali Molla, avoided saying whether the three Rab personnel would be interrogated or not.
Rab-11 commanding officer Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Major Arif Hossain and Lieutenant Commander Masud Rana have been sent to forced retirement over their alleged involvement in the abduction and murder.
Last night, Siddhirganj police recovered a licence-expired pistol and around 30 rounds of bullets raiding the house of Nur Hossain's nephew Shahjalal Badal, who too is a ward councillor, at Sanarpar, Narayanganj.
THE TALE OF TWO FAMILIES
The poor families of two drivers, who were among the murdered seven, are passing days in misery as little attention is being given to them.
Yesterday, a pregnant woman in her early twenties walked into the district commissioner's office after travelling eight kilometres. She is the widow of Jahangir Alam, driver of Nazrul's friend Swapan.
“Our baby is due next month -- our first child -- but my husband will not be there,” Shamsunnahar told The Daily Star after giving her statement before the probe body.
“My husband used to come home for lunch every day around 1:30pm. However, on April 27, it was past 2:30pm but he was still not home. So I made his sister call him. After a few seconds of calling, we abruptly heard a commotion following which the line was cut suddenly. We called again but the phone was off,” said Shamsunnahar.
Showing a pair of bangles, the last gift from her husband, she said, “My husband used to support me with his meagre wage of Tk 8,000. But I am penniless now. Who will support me? Who will support my child?”
Ismail Hasan Ronny, the-15-year old son of Mohammad Ibrahim, driver of Chandan, now has to face the grim prospect of dropping out of school.
“Father used to give us Tk 6,000 a month. But how will we make ends meet now? My mother has already asked me to leave school.”
He pleaded to the journalists, “Please ask the government to support me -- please make sure I can still go to school.”
In another development, Manzill Murshid, president of Human Rights and Peace for Bangladesh, submitted a memorandum to the DC office for ensuring security and assistance for the family members and witnesses.