Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, one of the three ex-Rab officials arrested for their alleged involvement in the seven murders in Narayanganj, was sued yesterday for abducting two BNP leaders in Comilla.
Saiful Islam alias Hiru, former lawmaker and president of Laksham upazila BNP, and Humayun Kabir Parvez, president of Laksham municipal BNP, went missing on November 27 last year.
Four other Rab men were also accused in the case filed by Humayun's father Rangu Mia with the Senior Judicial Magistrate's Court in Comilla.
They are Rab-11 Comilla Company Commander Maj Shahed Hasan Raji, Rab Deputy Assistant Director Shahjahan Ali, and sub-inspectors Kazi Sultan Ahmed and Ashit Kumar Roy.
Family members of the missing BNP leaders claimed that the Rab personnel led by Tareque had abducted the two for “money”.
At the court premises yesterday, Saiful's wife Farida Islam said she along with her daughter Mashrufa Islam and other family members met Tareque in Narayanganj a day after her husband went missing.
"But he [Tareque] misbehaved with us and drove us away. He told us to meet him again and bring Comilla-9 lawmaker Tajul Islam along," she said.
Rab official Shahed could not be reached over the phone despite several attempts.
The court ordered the officer-in-charge of Laksham Police Station to submit a probe report to it, adds a correspondent from Comilla.
Meanwhile, a Narayanganj court placed ex-Rab officer Lt Commander SM Masud Rana on a seven-day remand yesterday, a day after two other former Rab officers Tareque and Maj Arif Hossain were taken on a five-day remand.
Rana was brought to the court in handcuffs around 4:45pm, hours after his arrest from the capital's cantonment area early yesterday for his alleged involvement in the seven murders.
Police sought his 10-day remand but Senior Judicial Magistrate KM Mahiuddin granted seven days.
At the hearing, Rana claimed himself innocent, and said the place where the seven bodies were recovered was out of his duty area.
Police picked up Rana in the capital's cantonment area a day after the arrests of Tareque and Arif from the same area.
Their arrests came after the High Court on May 11 ordered law enforcers to arrest the three ex-Rab officials as suspects in the seven-murder case.
On May 6, the three officials were forced into retirement over the allegation of involvement in the killings of seven people, including Narayanganj panel mayor Nazrul Islam and lawyer Chandan Sarker.
Their names came up when Nazrul's father-in-law Shahidul Islam alleged that some officials of Rab-11 had killed Nazrul and others in exchange for Tk 6 crore from ward councillor Nur Hossain and his accomplices.
The Narayanganj court yesterday asked law enforcers to explain why Tareque and Arif were not shown arrested on the charge of killing the seven persons.
Mamunur Rashid Mondal, investigation officer of the case, will have to reply in four days.
The court order came after colleagues of slain lawyer Chandan moved a petition on the matter.
In the meantime, the government committee probing the gruesome murders talked to civil society members and took deposition of 17 people in the fourth round of public hearing.
On April 27, Nazrul, his four aides, and lawyer Chandan and his driver were abducted near Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah of 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.
CASE AGAINST TAREQUE
In the first information report, the complainant said Rab held Saiful and Humayun along with 10 others from Harishchar area in Comilla Sadar between 9:00pm and 11:00pm on November 27.
Shahjahan Ali and the two other accused Rab men took away Tk 14 lakh from Saiful's factory, Bangladesh Flour Mill, at Daulatganj market in Laksham on that night.
Saiful, who was in his factory at the time, along with Jasimuddin, former assistant organising secretary of Laksham municipal BNP, fled the factory.
They then contacted Humayun, and along with him were going to Comilla by an ambulance. The Rab men intercepted the ambulance at Harishchar, and forced them into a pickup.
The elite force members handed Jasimuddin over to cops at Laksham Police Station on the same night, but there has been no news of Saiful and Humayun since, according to the FIR.
Humayun's family members said they went to file a case with the Laksham police, but the then officer-in-charge refused to take the case. Later, they filed a general diary on December 1.
The seven-member inquiry committee held another hearing at Narayanganj Circuit House yesterday where representatives of the civil society, assistants of lawyers, drivers and shop keepers, and four staff of Rifles Club, gave depositions.
After her deposition, Shahina Islam Mukti, vice-president of Shujan Narayanganj district unit, said she told the committee that Nur Hossain carried out various illegal activities in the area with support from Awami League lawmaker Shamim Osman.
Shahina, also daughter of former BNP lawmaker from Narayanganj-4 Sirajul Islam, said Hossain and other accused in the murder case are Shamim's men.
She claimed the seven murders could not have taken place without Shamim's knowledge.
Manzurul Haque, vice-president of Narayanganj Chamber of Commerce, said 34 representatives of 34 socio-cultural organisations and professional bodies gave deposition.
After his deposition, advocate AB Siddique, president of Narayanganj Nagorik Committee, told The Daily Star the seven murders took place because of failure of the law enforcement agencies.
Meanwhile, detectives released NCC ward councillor Jannatul Ferdous Nila around 9:30pm yesterday, about three hours after she was detained in connection with the case.
Asked about Nur Hossain's whereabouts, Narayanganj Superintendent of Police Khandker Mahid Uddin said police were yet to ascertain it.