Rifat Murder: Cops yet to trace key accused
Although six days have passed since Rifat was killed in Barguna, the three main accused in the murder case were yet to be traced.
His family members are frustrated as the three -- Sabbir Rahman Nayon, Rifat Farazi and Risan Farazi -- are still absconding.
“I am frustrated as the main accused have not been arrested till now. I urge the law enforcement agencies to arrest all the accused as soon as possible,” said Abdul Halim Dulal Sharif, the victim’s father.
“We demand immediate arrest of all the accused to give us relief from worry,” said Mozammel Haq Kishore, the victim’s father-in-law.
Meanwhile, two arrestees in the case yesterday afternoon gave confessional statements before a court about their involvement in the murder.
They are Oli, an FIR-named accused, and Tanvir, who was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the killing.
The district’s senior judicial magistrate Md Sirajul Islam Gazi recorded the statement, said Md Humayun Kabir, investigation officer (IO) of the case.
After recording the statement, the court sent the duo to jail.
The court also granted a 5-day remand to Najmul Ahsan, Sagor and Saimun, three other suspects who had been arrested. Of them, Nazmul was earlier taken on a three-day remand that ended on Sunday.
The district’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Md Maruf Hossain said they were trying their best to arrest the key accused.
Earlier yesterday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader told journalists in Dhaka that Rifat’s killers would not be spared no matter which political party they belonged to.
Shah Newaj Rifat Sharif was hacked to death in broad daylight in front of his wife near Barguna Government College on June 26. Later that night, his father filed a murder case against 12 people with Barguna Sadar Police Station.
Police have so far arrested eight people in the case. Of them, Chandan, Hasan, Oli and Ridoy are accused in the First Information Report. Four others -- Najmul, Saimun, Tanvir, and Sagor -- were arrested on suspicion of being involved in the killing.
Two of the key accused -- Nayon and Rifat -- are listed criminals and accused in several cases, said police.
Nayon is an accused in eight cases, including weapon possession, drug and mugging. He had earlier been arrested in these cases, but was released on bail, said Abir Hasan Mohammad, OC of Barguna police station.
Rifat Farazi, another key accused in the case, is facing four separate cases and has been out on bail.
Police submitted a charge sheet to the court against Nayon and Rifat after investigating the different cases in the past, said the OC.
Locals said Nayon was close to Advocate Sunam Devnath, son of local lawmaker Dhirendra Debnath Shambhu who is also president of the district unit AL.
On the other hand, the two siblings -- Rifat and Risan -- are nephews of Md Delwar Hossain, vice-president of the district unit AL and chairman of Barguna District Council.
They were engaged in different criminal activities, but remained unpunished because of the political clout they derived from their connections to Shambhu and Delwar, locals claimed.
Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Chattra League (BCL) in the area yesterday declared a reward for those who would help to trace and arrest the accused.
Jubayer Adnan Anik, president of the unit BCL, declared the bounty on the assailants at a human chain programme in front of Barguna Press Club yesterday noon.
He, however, did not mention the amount of the bounty, instead saying a “proper award” will be given.
KILLERS WILL NOT BE SPARED
Rifat’s killers, regardless of their political affiliation, will not be spared, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said yesterday.
“Whoever is involved in the killing, even if they belong to the ruling party, will not be spared,” he said, while responding to a reporter’s query at his secretariat office.
“Law enforcement agencies were made aware of the government’s attitude in this regard.”
Quader, also the general secretary of the ruling Awami League, said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had instructed that the culprits be arrested, “proving the zero tolerance policy” taken in this regard.
Asked about alleged patronisation by local Awami League leaders of the suspects of the murder, Quader said both the killers and those who instigated the murder would face the same fate.
(Our Patuakhali correspondent contributed to the report.)