Cops hunt for killer
In a massive drive, police yesterday detained 31 people, including some BNP and Jamaat men, in Dhaka and Bogra over Thursday's killing of a police officer in the capital.
They are all part of a large gang that was planning to carry out subversive activities in the capital and elsewhere, police claimed.
Of those detained, 21 students of different colleges were picked up from a mess in Bogra town in the early hours.
Four more were arrested from the district's Adomdighi upazila. They are Rafi Ahmed, chairman of Adomdighi Sadar union and also vice-president of upazila BNP; Mehedi Hasan, joint secretary of upazila BNP and upazila correspondent of a newspaper; Yunus Ali, vice-chairman of the upazila and also Nayeb-e-Amir of upazila Jamaat; and Taufikur Rahman Nabab, a former UP member.
Nazir Ahmed Khan, senor assistant superintendent of detectives in Dhaka, said the four were accused in the killing of assistant sub-inspector Ibrahim Molla, who was stabbed to death in the capital's Gabtoli on Thursday night.
Asked about the students, he said they were only suspects and some of them might be involved with BNP-Jamaat politics.
Talking to The Daily Star yesterday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said a vested quarter was conspiring to upset law and order. “Yesterday [on Thursday] we arrested some people who were plotting to carry out subversive activities in the capital.”
In Dhaka, cops arrested six people in this connection. Three of them were detained with five bombs from Kamrangirchar and three others from Dhanmondi, Hazaribagh and Dhakeswari Temple areas with bomb-making materials, sources said.
Investigators claimed the youth who stabbed Ibrahim was a member of this “gang” that assembled in the city to implement their plan.
The assailant, identified as 24-year-old Kamal, travelled to the capital from Bogra several times in the last few months, they said, quoting his detained friend Masud Rana, who had accompanied him.
Masud used to stay in the Mosjid Chhatrabas, the student mess in Bogra from where cops detained the 21 students.
Around 9:00pm on Thursday, police stopped Kamal and Masud at a checkpoint in front of Parbat Cinema Hall after they got down from a bus from Bogra.
As Ibrahim was checking Kamal's bag, he stabbed the police officer and fled. Masud tried to escape but failed.
Investigators said Masud and a man named Rafique rented a house at Kamrangirchar on October 19.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) AKM Shahidul Hoque said primary probe suggested that Kamal was a member of an organised gang that is against the country's independence, and doesn't like stability and development in the country.
The police boss was talking to reporters after attending the namaz-e-janaza of Ibrahim at Rajarbagh Police Lines.
Asked whether Jamaat-e-Islami had any links with the incident, he said Masud's information gave such indications.
He said they were verifying the information and would be able to give a complete picture after scrutiny.
Soon after the killing of Ibrahim, Sheikh Maruf Hasan, additional commissioner (crime) of DMP, said, “There is no militant link with the incident.”
Meanwhile, the Jamaat outright rejected the IGP's remark on the party's alleged connection with the incident, and said Masud had no links with the Jamaat or its student-body Islami Chhatra Shibir.
In a statement yesterday, Jamaat leader Hamidur Rahman Azad said the IGP's remark was politically motivated.
Last night, Ibrahim's body was taken to his ancestral home of Palpara village in Bagerhat after his namaz-e-janaza.
With the sole breadwinner gone, the family is now uncertain about their future.
Ibrahim, who joined the police in 2003, left behind his wife, a six-year-old daughter and a 20-month-old son.
Talking to a private TV channel, his father Abdus Sattar Molla said, “My wife and I and our five daughters were dependent on his income. Now, our family will struggle to survive.”
Lamenting Ibrahim's death, his elder sister said, “I still cannot believe that my brother is gone ... It feels like I have lost a child.”