Police inspector Shakil Uddin Ahamed evaded suspension for over one and a half years even though he had been accused of forgery, land grabbing, and even attempted murder.
He was made an officer-in-charge of a police station violating service rules during this time. He had also been accused of tampering with the first information report of a murder case to protect his political-leader ally. He also allegedly ran an extortion gang.
Shakil was posted in Pabna as a district intelligence officer when he was charged with forgery, land grabbing, and attempted murder in a case filed by his mother-in-law on December 10, 2017, in Chapainawabganj.
He obtained bail on January 9, 2018.
Government Service Rule says he has to be suspended the day he files for bail.
According to documents obtained by The Daily Star, Shakil, instead of being suspended, was transferred to Rajshahi on April 17, 2018, and just 13 days later, he was made the OC of Puthia Police Station.
The fact that Shakil served as OC of Puthia evading suspension came to the fore on September 16 when the High Court issued a ruling on a writ petition filed by Nigar Sultana, daughter of slain transport leader Nurul Islam.
In the petition filed on September 8, Nigar sought the court’s directive on forming an enquiry committee to probe Shakil’s tampering of the FIR filed in connection with the murder of her father.
She questioned why Shakil was not suspended as per the provisions of the Government Service Rule.
The HC ordered a judicial enquiry into the role of the OC and directed the authorities concerned to suspend him and initiate departmental proceedings against him.
It had asked authorities concerned as to why their inaction regarding the OC’s “implication in criminal cases and involvement with corruption and other serious criminal offences” should not be deemed illegal.
The Daily Star obtained a copy of the order.
The court might deliver an order today as the judicial probe report had been submitted.
Police eventually suspended Shakil on October 2 following the HC order with retrospective effect from January 9, 2018, the day he got bail.
This paper has a copy of the police order.
Following his suspension, locals opened up and alleged that Shakil, who has a lawmaker-brother, and his ally district AL Organising Secretary Ehsanul Haque Masud forged FIRs, indulged in corruption, and ran an extortion gang.
Nigar described most of the allegations against Shakil in her petition with the HC.
Nurul ran for the general secretary post of Puthia’s Road Transport Workers’ Union on April 24 this year. He lost to Abdur Rahman Patal, who was backed by his ally Masud.
Nurul then filed a civil suit with a Rajshahi court alleging that the election results were manipulated in favour of Patal.
On June 9, the court issued an injunction on the results.
Around 10:00am the following day when Nurul went to the union office with the court order, Masud, Patal, Golam Faruk, a former general secretary of the upazila AL who acted as an election commissioner, and others threatened him with dire consequences, according to the writ.
Nurul went missing after the incident and on June 11 morning, his body was found near a brick kiln in Puthia. He had been bludgeoned to death and his genitals had been clubbed.
That afternoon, Nigar filed a murder case with Puthia Police Station. The case was eventually recorded at 11:30pm against Patal, Md Mithu, KM Shahin, Nurul Amin, Md Motin, and Abdur Rashid, according to documents.
Nigar in her writ said the FIR she had filed had eight named accused and Shakil had tried to persuade her to drop Masud and Golam Faruk.
She said Shakil made a fake FIR using her signature he had asked her to put on two blank sheets of paper. She said Shakil took the signatures saying those were required for the burial of Nurul and arrest of the accused.
The Detective Branch of Police was probing the case, but family members claimed that an attempt was made to divert the course of the investigation.
They said the office of the Rajshahi Superintendent of Police issued a press statement on June 19 saying that a 16-year-old boy confessed to killing Nurul for attempting to rape him.
The statement said the boy killed Nurul with a single blow.
However, Nurul’s inquest mentioned multiple injuries.
Nigar claimed that police had picked up the boy and kept him confined for four days to force him to make the false confessional statement.
The HC in its September 16, 2019, order had asked the Rajshahi SP to explain on what authority did “he disclosed confidential information of a confessional statement under 164”.
On the night of June 6, 2018, Rocky Islam, 22, of Koipukuria in Puthia was fatally injured. He died half an hour after he was taken to Puthia Health Complex, his family said.
His body had marks of numerous injuries and his genitals had been clubbed.
Before his death, Rocky told his family members that Masud’s cadres, who were accused in a case for beating up his uncle Mohidul Islam in 2017, had attacked him.
Rocky’s mother Rehana Begum filed a case with Puthia police accusing 14 people for the murder.
Three weeks later, she learnt that the FIR she filed was never recorded. Instead, police recorded an unnatural death case saying Rocky died by suicide.
On July 2, 2018, Rehana filed another case with a Rajshahi court accusing the same 14 people. And the case is now being investigated by the Police Bureau of Investigation.
A mob beat Md Tarek, 22, a rickshaw-van puller on suspicion of trying to steal a rickshaw-van at Jhalmalia Bazar of Puthia and handed him over to the police on September 23, 2018, police said.
Tarek’s mother Sanwara Begum alleged that Shakil had called them over to the police station and demanded Tk 60,000 for his release.
The family had said they would be able to pay only after they sell a piece of land they owned.
Sanwara told The Daily Star that Tarek hanged himself inside the police station after learning that the family was trying to sell the land to have him released.
She alleged that her son was kept in the ICU of Rajshahi Medical College Hospital for 22 days before being declared dead on October 15, 2018.
Police handed the body over without an autopsy, she said.
Locals claimed that soon after joining Puthia Police Station, Shakil in connivance with Masud patronised a gang of criminals, including some women, who entrapped well-off people and extorted them.
After Shakil was removed, police in early October arrested eight members of the gang.
An audio clip allegedly of a female arrestee saying how the money went to Shakil and Masud went viral in social media.
Shakil’s mother-in-law Aklima Begum had filed the criminal case against him for forgery, forceful eviction from her property, and attempted murder.
Aklima wrote to the Rajshahi Range deputy inspector general (DIG) of police that Shakil obtained bail in the case she filed. The DIG received the letter on September 26, 2018.
The DIG also informed Chapainawabganj police of the matter.
Abu Bakar Siddique, one of the two lawyers dealing Nigar’s writ petition, said there was hardly a way of suppressing the information of his bail. Either senior officials overlooked the matter while appointing him or he hid the information.
HC lawyer Jyotirmoy Barua said, “Continuation of service by a suspended officer is simply impossible without political influence.”
Shakil told The Daily Star that he was not bothered about any of the allegations against him “since he was not involved”.
He was involved in recording of the FIR and “I’ve done it properly,” he said, adding that the recorded FIR carries the plaintiff’s signature.
He claimed he did not take Nigar’s signature on blank pieces of paper.
Shakil denied having any connections with Masud or having anything to do with the dropping of Masud and Faruk’s names from the murder case.
He claimed that many of his senior officers, including the Rajshahi SP, knew about his bail.
Rajshahi SP Md Shahidullah said Shakil served concealing information regarding his involvement in criminal offences.
“We knew nothing. He [Shakil] continued serving hiding facts [of his involvement in criminal offence],” the SP said, adding that his office had no records of Shakil’s taking leave to attend court hearings in this connection.
AL leader Ehsanul Haque Masud denied involvement in the murder of Nurul. He claimed that a vested quarter was trying to harm his image.
“Nurul’s family members never accused me of the murder, until they went to the High Court,” he said.
“They did not accuse me at the police station ... they could have done it before the court. But they had not.
“They only accused me in the writ petition over political enmity,” he said.
Talking to The Daily Star, Shakil’s brother Shamil Uddin Ahmed Shimul, lawmaker of Chapainawabganj-1, said, “Being a police officer, he knew well where to grease to get away with the charges he was facing.
“I never lobbied for him and he didn’t contact me either.
“Whatever he did, he did with local political leaders beside him. He never contacted me and I never contacted him regarding these matters.”