Leaders of Narayanganj District Lawyers' Association yesterday demanded the resignation of the disaster management and relief minister in the interest of a proper investigation into the seven-murder case.
As one of the former Rab officers is a close relative of Mofazzal Hossain Chowdhury Maya, he should step down to keep the probe free from influence, they said at a protest rally at Narayanganj Court premises.
Maya's son-in-law Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, along with two other former Rab men Maj Arif Hossain and Lt Commander SM Masud Rana, were arrested on charges of alleged involvement in the murders.
The trio were placed on remand at Narayanganj Police Lines.
Shakhawat Hossain Khan, president of the association, said, "Allegations about the involvement of the minister's son in the murders have also surfaced. The case is very sensitive. If the minister remains in his position, he may influence the investigation."
He alleged that the interrogators were not quizzing the three in connection with their involvement in the murders.
Rather, he claimed, two physicians were appointed to provide full-time health care services to the trio without having any directive of the court.
Dulal Chandra Chowdhury, civil surgeon of Narayanganj, said the authorities sent two physicians on Saturday morning for full-time health check-up of the two ex-Rab officials following a request from the superintendent of police.
"But we took them back on Sunday morning after their remand came into force," he said, adding that the physicians had treated the two ex-Rab officers.
Yesterday, the lawyers observed an hour-long work abstention and demanded a new probe committee, comprising senior officials, to interrogate the accused Rab officers. They also formed a human chain at the court premises.
On May 6, the three officials were forced into retirement over allegations of their involvement in the killings of seven people, including Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Sarker.
Their names cropped up when Nazrul's father-in-law Shahidul Islam alleged that some officials of Rab-11 had killed Nazrul and others in exchange of Tk 6 crore from councillor Nur Hossain and his accomplices.
Meanwhile, Narayanganj police yesterday declined to divulge anything in connection with the quizzing of the three former Rab officers.
Khandakar Mahid Uddin, SP of Narayanganj, told reporters yesterday afternoon that they were investigating the case sincerely and professionally.
Asked about the physicians, he said treatment would be given to the accused if they fell sick. He also requested the media not to publicise the matter, in his words, in a wrong way.
Officer-in-charge (DB) of the district Mamunur Rashid, who is also the investigation officer of the case, declined to make any comment when asked about the progress of the remand.
A police official preferring not be named said food for the trio was being supplied from the canteen of the police lines.
On April 27, Nazrul, his four aides, and lawyer Chandan and his driver were abducted near Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, Narayanganj.
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 Swapan, Tajul Islam, Liton, Jahangir and Ibrahim.
[Our Narayanganj correspondent contributed to this report]