Tavella killing: 'Target was any white man' | The Daily Star
10:17 AM, October 26, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 10:36 PM, October 27, 2015

Tavella killing: 'Target was any white man'

3 out of 4 suspects remanded, motorbike seized

- 4 suspects held in Gulshan, Badda

-  Two actively took part in the killing

- Owner of motorcycle is among the arrestees

Tavella murder suspects confessed to being hired for killing “a white man” to create anarchy in the country, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mohammad Asaduzzaman Miah said today.

“Not Tavella, they were contracted to kill any foreign national especially a white-skinned man,” the DMP chief said at a press briefing at DMP media centre.

The police official was addressing the briefing after detectives arrested four suspected killers of Italian aid worker Tavella in Dhaka. They also recovered the motorbike used in the murder.

The arrestees are: Tamzid Ahmed Rubel alias Mobile Rubel alias Shooter Rubel, Sakhawat Hossain alias Sharif, Russell Chowdhury alias Chakki Russell alias Biddut Russell, and Minhazul Arefin Russell alias Bhagina Russell alias Kala Russell.

After they were paraded before the meida, a Dhaka court today placed three of the four suspected killers on eight-day remand each.

Metropolitan Magistrate Md Mahbubur Rahman passed the order after Inspector Zehad Hossain of Detective Branch of Dhaka police, also the investigation officer of Tavella murder case, produced them before it with a ten-day remand prayer for each.

Further details of the court proceedings could not be known immediately.

READ more: Italian national shot dead in Gulshan

A team of DB police conducted drives in Gulshan and Badda areas in the capital and arrested the suspects, Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mohammad Asaduzzaman Miah said at a press briefing at DMP media centre this morning.

Chakki Russell, son of Shahjahan Chowdhury, was arrested in Gulshan, Bhagina Russell in Shatarkul area and Mobile Rubel from a secret hideout in Badda yesterday, the police commissioner said.

Based on information given by Bhagina Russell, a police team seized the white motorbike, FZS, from house in Madhya Badda, he said.

Sharif, the owner of the seized motorbike, is a dealer of illegal firearms and a yaba trader.

After their arrest, the law enforcers interrogated the four separately.

Tavella Killing mystery unearthed

Sharif, in the primary interrogation, told police that he gave Bhagina Russell his motorbike for an operation after the latter requested him, the police commissioner said.

Bhagina Russell took the bike in the morning and returned it to him at night, he added. 

Also READ: Blueprint for Tavella

Bhagina Russell and Chakki Russell are convicted criminals and drug addicts, the police official said adding that they had record showing Mobile Rubel as a “cold-blooded killer”. 

“We have arrested the real criminals and, by this time, collected relevant evidence and information of their crimes,” Asaduzzaman claimed.

‘Boro bhai ordered the killing’

“A so called “big brother (boro bhai)” ordered them to conduct the killing and we have got information about that person,” the DMP official said.

“Once we arrest the so-called big brother, we will be able to arrest the persons behind the killing,” he said adding that they were trying hard to recover the firearms used in the crime.

Police have not found any link to militancy and Islamic State in the murder,” he said while replying to questions of the reporters at the briefing session.

The Islamic State issue brought up to hide the real criminals, he claimed.

Tavella, a project manager of Netherlands-based NGO, was gunned down in the high-security diplomatic zone in Gulshan on September 28. Two men actively took part in the killing, while a third waited on a bike ready to flee, witnesses said.

On October 18, Dhaka Metropolitan Police claimed to have unearthed the conspiracy and blueprint for the murder.

Soon after the incident, US-based SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors militant activities, uploaded a post where Islamic State purportedly claimed responsibility for Tavella's murder, but the investigators claimed that they did not find even the “slightest link” of militant outfits in it.

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