Hammer Attack on UNO: Ex-govt staffer involved, police say | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:43 AM, September 13, 2020

Hammer Attack on UNO: Ex-govt staffer involved, police say

Suspended gardener arrested, placed on 6-day remand; cops’ claim contradicts Rab version linking Jubo League man

Contradicting Rab claim that the Ghoraghat UNO and her father were attacked by a local Jubo League leader,  police in Dinajpur yesterday said they arrested a suspended government staffer for his alleged involvement in the incident.

The arrestee is Rabiul Islam, 40, of Dhamahar of the district's Biral upazila, Debdas Bhattacharya, deputy inspector general (Rangpur), said at a press briefing at the SP office in Dinajpur around 3:40pm. The suspect was not paraded before the media.

In his 4:30-minute speech, the DIG did not mention when, how and where the arrest was made. Neither did he disclose details about the arrestee, but said investigation was an ongoing process. He only took three or four questions. Mohammad Anwar Hossain, the superintendent of police of Dinajpur, was present.

Debdas claimed Rabiul, during his primary interrogation, admitted to the police that he was involved in the hammer attack on UNO Wahida Khanam and her father Omar Ali Sheikh, a freedom fighter, at her official residence on September 3.

"We would have him on remand [to glean more information from him]."

Meanwhile, sources at Ghoraghat Upazila Parishad said Rabiul was a gardener at the upazila parishad. He was suspended in January after Tk 40,000, which had gone missing from the office, was allegedly recovered from his possession.

This newspaper could not reach any of his family members for comments.

So far, five people have been arrested in connection with the attack.

Earlier, Rab arrested a local Jubo League leader, Asadul Islam, 40, on September 4 in Kaliganj village of Dinajpur's Hakimpur upazila over the attack. After interrogating him, Rab officials at another press briefing in Rangpur claimed that Asadul admitted to attacking the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and her father after his burglary bid failed.

When this reporter asked the DIG yesterday about the Rab claim, he said he didn't want to talk on the issue, but added that Rab might have been misguided by Asadul's statement.

Asked about the police claim, Rab officials, wishing not to be named, said they said what Rabiul had confessed to them during interrogation. 

Replying to another query, the police official said a ladder and a hammer, used in the attack, have been seized. He, however, did not say where they were found. 

The ladder and the hammer were not produced before journalists at the briefing yesterday.

Later in the afternoon, Dinajpur DB produced Rabiul and Nadim Hossain Polash, 26, of Zinnapara of Sadar upazila, before a court in the district.

Polash, a night guard at the UNO's residence, was picked up after the attack. He was shown arrested on Saturday.

After producing Rabiul before the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Ismail Hossain, police sought a 10-day remand for him. The court granted them six days of remand.

It sent Polash and Asadul to jail after the investigation officer did not file any prayer for them, said Israil Hossain, court inspector in Dinajpur.

Asadul was produced before the court after his seven-day remanded ended yesterday.

Asadul, a Jubo League leader in Ghoraghat Municipality, looked relaxed. He was brought to the court building in a microbus around 4:00pm and he went in smiling. 

Two other accused in a case over the attack were sent to Dinajpur jail on Friday afternoon.

Wahida's elder brother Sheikh Farid Uddin, a police officer, had filed the case with Ghoraghat Police Station.  Dinajpur DB is investigating it.

In another development, Amirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ghoraghat police station, was withdrawn on Friday over negligence in carrying out his duty.

WAHIDA CAN NOW MOVE HANDS

The UNO and her father were being treated at hospitals in Dhaka and Rangpur.

"Her [Wahida] physical condition has improved. She can move her right hand which was paralysed. We are giving her physiotherapy. She may need to stay at the hospital for over a week," Mohammad Zahed Hossain, chief of the neurotrauma department of the National Institute of Neurosciences & Hospital (MINH), told The Daily Star yesterday.

 

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