Slain Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam's father-in-law Shahidul Islam yesterday contradicted earlier statements by his other relatives over Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman's role in prime accused Nur Hossain's escape from the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Dhaka Reporters Unity office, Shahidul, locally known as Shahid Chairman, claimed Shamim did not assist Nur in fleeing the country.
Shahid left the venue immediately after reading out his written statement to the newsmen. He did not take any questions.
His statement came in the wake of the leak of a phone conversation between Shamim and Nur.
After the leak, Nazrul's brother Abdus Salam said the lawmaker might have helped Nur flee the country as he was heard discussing with Nur an escape plan. Shamim assured Nur of safe escape saying, “There will be no problem.”
Nazrul's wife Selina Islam Beauty had earlier hinted at Shamim's involvement. She, however, declined to make any comment on the issue when The Daily Star reached her on May 18.
At the press meet, Shahid alleged an “intelligence agency” which leaked the phone conversation between Shamim and Nur had assisted the latter in fleeing the country.
Earlier on Saturday night, family members and supporters of Nazrul brought out a procession demanding the arrest and punishment of Shamim. Shahid Chairman was also present there, but kept quiet.
Yesterday's statement by Shahid was similar to the one made by Shamim after the leak. The AL lawmaker claimed it was not him; rather those who leaked the conversation had assisted Nur to escape. He argued that Nur could have been easily traced and arrested.
“Shamim Osman talked to Nur Hossain over the mobile phone several times between April 27 and 29. But their conversations don't prove he assisted Nur in fleeing the country. Rather, the people who leaked the record of their conversation helped Nur,” Shahid told the press conference.
“A vested quarter has been playing dirty politics by raising allegations against Shamim Osman in connection with the incident,” he claimed.
He questioned, “If those people who leaked the phone record knew about Nur's whereabouts, why didn't they arrest him?”
Shahid added that phone records of contractor Abu Sufian, a supporter of Narayanganj Mayor Selina Hayat Ivy, trader Chan Mia, suspected killer Selim and Nur Hossain's bodyguard Hasan have also been leaked, but there is no discussion about those records.
He asked, “Why Sufian is not being quizzed as yet? Does this mean that they were the masterminds behind the incident and suppliers of money? Is that vested quarter trying to save them?”
Shamim earlier had indicated that the Rapid Action Battalion was involved in the gruesome seven-murder. Shahid also complained that Rab men were hired for the job in exchange for Tk 6 crore.
PROBE PROGRESS DISAPPOINTING
Nazrul's wife Selina Islam Beauty expressed disappointment at the progress of the investigation in the seven-murder case in the last one month.
“Although the kidnappers were wandering around after the abduction of my husband, the law enforcers did not arrest them. Now, the administration raises different issues over the involvement of different people in the murder without identifying and arresting the killers,” she told The Daily Star last evening.
Speaking at a press conference at his office yesterday, Khandker Mahid Uddin, police super of Narayanganj, claimed police had made progress in the investigation as 23 people had been arrested in this connection.
Meanwhile, two factions of the Narayanganj District Bar Association yesterday staged demonstrations demanding the arrest of the killers of lawyer Chandan Sarkar and six others and their trial.
In another development, police yesterday rounded up one Moshiur Rahman for allegedly assisting prime accused Nur Hossain flee to India, confirmed Mahid Uddin.