Mob murder or planned killing? | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 26, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:46 PM, July 26, 2015

Mob murder or planned killing?

Victim's family claims of manpower tout's plot; imam held over 'use of mike to incite people'

Confusion reigns over the lynching of Monir as a “robber” in Comilla 11 days ago with the family members alleging it was a planned murder.

Monir's father Moslem Uddin Sarkar, a former officer of agriculture extension department, claimed his son had fallen victim to a travel agent's trap.

However, some locals contradict Moslem's claim, according to police.

The victim, Shamsul Islam Monir, was beaten to death by a mob in the early hours of July 14 in Kazitoli village under Muradnagar upazila. The incident came to light after photos of Monir being brutally tortured were uploaded on social media.

Locals said that before Monir was beaten, the imam of the local mosque announced through a loudhailer that a "robber" had been captured during the sehri hours, inciting people to mob violence.

Police, on the other hand, said they found no evidence of a robbery that night around the place where Monir was beaten. They said Monir was an addict and had criminal records.

The victim's father filed a murder case on the night of July 14 with Muradnagar Police Station.

Kamruzzaman, the imam of the mosque, was arrested on that night in this connection. But those who took part in the killing are still in hiding, said police.

"We are trying to arrest the ones who tortured him. The case has been transferred to the detective branch due to its sensitivity," Shah Abid Hossain, superintendent of police in Comilla, told The Daily Star.

Moslem claimed his son had gone to Dubai but was deceived by his travel agent Mohammad Ali, so he had to come back empty-handed.

He alleged that upon his return, Monir demanded the money Ali had taken from him for the Dubai travel. So, Ali called Monir over the phone to collect the money from his house. When Monir went to Ali's house, he was set up as a "robber" and killed.

However, the SP rejected the father's allegation saying that police checked Monir's call list and found no calls from Ali.

He also said they were yet to find any evidence of Moslem's allegation that Monir had wanted his money back from Ali.

"But that does not justify that people will take law in their hands and kill a person," the SP said.

He added that during the interrogation the imam claimed he had seen Monir coming out of Ali's house around 2:30am on that night. The official also said police were looking into why Monir had been seen walking out of Ali's house at that hour of the night.

"At first, it seemed that a mob killed him during an attempted robbery. But when the victim's father came to the police station with the allegations, we recorded the case," SP Abid said.

Mizanur Rahman, officer-in-charge of Muradnagar Police Station, said Monir had been in jail for a few days in a robbery case filed against him in 2008.

Monir's killing followed the gruesome murder of 13-year-old Rajon by a group of men in Sylhet city early this month for allegedly trying to steal a rickshaw.

The photos of Monir showed that his hands were tied behind his back with a rope, the other end of which was tied to a pole. His legs too were tied and eyes blindfolded. Blood was seen trickling down his legs.

Many people watched the brutal torture video and some of them might have taken pictures and uploaded those on social media. 

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