An apparently stagnant probe into the abduction and murder of Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam and six others has given rise to security concerns among the victims' family members.
With the main accused, including Nur Hossain, still at large, Nazrul's family members are getting threats over the phone from unknown people. Even the law enforcers guarding Nazrul's in-laws' house at Mijmiji in Siddhirganj overheard one such threat around 11:00am yesterday.
A policeman on duty there told The Daily Star that he had heard someone threatening Rafiqul Islam Mintu, Nazrul's brother-in-law, over the phone.
After making a statement to the police probe committee, Nazrul's widow Selina Islam told journalists yesterday that she and her family were living in fear as they were receiving threats.
“The accused I named in my case are still at large and threats keep coming. I doubt whether the administration has the intention to catch them,” she said.
Mintu, also a joint general secretary of Narayanganj Jubo League, identified the caller as "Langra" Hasan, a neighbour and Nur Hossain's follower.
“The boss has taken note of your action. Your days are numbered,” Mintu quoted the caller as saying.
“You won't be lucky enough as Nazrul had been. Your body won't be found," the caller warned.
But this is not the first such call. The first threat came from an unknown person on April 29, two days after the seven that also included senior lawyer Chandan Sarker were abducted in broad daylight from Narayanganj link road.
Nazrul's father-in-law Shahidul Islam filed a general diary with the Siddhirganj police over the threat on May 2.
“We've taken care of your son-in-law. If you don't stop talking about it, we'll make sure that members of both the families (Nazrul's and his in-laws') go missing,” reads the general diary describing the threat.
According to reliable sources, Nur Hossain is still in the country. He was in Comilla area over the past few days but is now trying to cross over to India through Bhomra or Benapole.
Meanwhile, police yesterday recorded the statement of Shahidul, nine days after the sensational kidnap and murder of the seven.
The bodies were later found floating on the Shitalakkhya river.
Shahidul, known as Shahid Chairman, has from the beginning been alleging that Nur Hossain had hired some Rab members for the murders in exchange for Tk 6 crore. His voice went unheard until the media covered it for the last three days.
After the statement to the police, Shahid said he told the law enforcers what he had told the press earlier.
“I want that the real culprits are identified, arrested and given the capital punishment,” he told reporters after coming out of the office of the Narayanganj superintendent of police.
On Monday, he told this newspaper that a son of a powerful Awami League lawmaker had brokered the deal with some Rab men to kill Nazrul. The MP's son acted on behalf of Nur Hossain.
The Daily Star could not independently verify Shahidul's claims and therefore kept from naming the MP and his son.
Talking to this correspondent yesterday, Shahidul said he had information that part of the Tk 6 crore was paid to the killers through Dutch Bangla Bank and Jamuna Bank.
Contacted, Bangladesh Bank Executive Director Mahfuzur Rahman said the central bank did not get any report regarding these transactions. Under the rules, banks must report to the BB on any transaction exceeding Tk 10 lakh a day from any account.
Meanwhile, several other family members and locals were quizzed by the committee formed by the police for probing the murders that once again bring under the spotlight a trend of violent politics run by people popularly known as "Godfathers," earning the district a dreadful reputation.
Also yesterday, having observed work abstention in protest against the murders, the district's lawyers threatened to lay siege to the Rab camp office on Sunday if the accused are not arrested by then.
Frustrated over the probe, they demanded visible progress in the investigation by the deadline, reports our correspondent there.
In another development, police seized four of the 11 firearms, licensed against the names of those loyal to Nur Hossain, a day after their licences were cancelled.
Also, the Prime Ministers' Office directed the authorities concerned to confiscate all moveable and immovable assets of Nur Hossain, said a PMO official.