Mitu Murder: From plaintiff to prime accused
Former superintendent of police Babul Akter, plaintiff in a murder case over the killing of his wife Mahmuda Khanam Mitu in 2016, will be produced before court today after being arrested in another case filed over the same incident.
The victim's father Mosharraf Hossain filed the second case with Panchlaish Police Station last Wednesday naming Babul as the prime accused.
The former SP was shown arrested in the case the same day, said Police Bureau of Investigation's (PBI's) Inspector Santosh Kumar Chakma, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case.
The dramatic turnaround from plaintiff to prime accused happened after Babul, summoned for interrogation to Chattogram PBI metro office last Tuesday, could not answer detectives' questions satisfactorily.
Among the questions was one surrounding a payment of Tk 3 lakh via Babul's business partner to Kamrul Islam Musa -- the fugitive accused in the original case and a long-time informant of Babul when he was an SP. The payment was done soon after the murder.
Till yesterday, Babul was in a five-day remand in connection with the second case and will be produced before a court today, said Inspector Santosh Kumar Chakma.
The IO told The Daily Star that PBI will collect information about a woman with whom Babul was said to have an affair, according to the case filed by Mitu's father.
"We interrogated him about both previous and newly filed case statements, his father-in-law's allegation and some information which surfaced from testimonies of witnesses.
"He [Babul] provided some important information to us and we are verifying those," said the IO.
Two of the testimonies were given last Tuesday by Sayful Haque -- Babul's business partner -- and Kazi Al Mamun, a relative of fugitive accused Musa, said PBI sources.
Sayful had said he arranged the money from Babul's share of profits from their business and sent the money via mobile banking service to Musa, said a top PBI official.
PBI officials said they were trying to identify the motive behind the gruesome murder but, as Babul is a former police official, it was not easy to glean information from him.
Asked about the affair, the IO also said, "We will go to Cox's Bazar to collect information on her relevance to the case. If needed, we will write an official letter to interrogate her."
Meanwhile, Motaleb Mia Wasim and Anwar Hossain, who were accused and arrested in the original case filed by Babul in 2016, were also shown arrested in the new case following a PBI appeal yesterday.
The duo is among four people, including Babul Akter, arrested in the case filed by the victim's father.
'NO CLEAR ANSWERS'
Last Tuesday, PBI grilled Babul over the transaction of Tk 3 lakh with his business partner. He failed to answer satisfactorily.
He failed to give relevant answers to investigators' questions about Musa, who was his informant for a long time. Following that, PBI took him into custody.
On Wednesday, PBI submitted the final report in the case filed by Babul, calling him the "mastermind" in the murder.
Citing the final report, IO Santosh Kumar Chakma said, "After the plaintiff of the case -- Babul Akter -- was taken to PBI office, I discussed with him the FIR [of the case filed by Babul], photos of the accused [Musa] captured from CCTVs and the testimonies of witnesses Sayful Haque and Kazi Al Mamun."
"Babul failed to give any clear and relevant answer when interrogated. He intentionally refused to recognise his long-known informant Kamrul Islam Musa, fugitive accused of the case, even after seeing his photo ... ," the final report said.
He also could not answer why he had sent Tk 3 lakh to Musa via Sayful soon after the murder, it added.
The report also stated: "Babul, however, admitted that he had longstanding domestic disputes with his wife over several issues.
"Considering all the issues and evidence, Babul is apparently the main beneficiary of Mitu's murder as he made an arrangement to send Tk 3 lakh via his friend to Musa soon after the killing," the report said.
Moreover, Babul tried to divert the investigation, claiming that militants carried out the killing, said the report obtained by court sources.
The report also states that "considering the circumstances, material evidence, post mortem report, firearms' ballistic report, confessional statements of both accused and witnesses under section 161 and 164 of CrPC, and technological analysis, the offences of Babul Akter, the plaintiff of the case, had been primarily proved".
The plaintiff had given misinformation in the case statement, hiding the identities of the accused to save them, Inspector Santosh Chakma wrote in the final report.
PBI submitted the 575-page case documents including the final report of Mitu murder case, filed by Babul Akter with Panchlaish Police Station, before the prosecution section of court.
On June 5, 2016, Mitu was stabbed and shot dead when she was walking her son to his school-bus stop at the port city's GEC intersection. After the murder, Babul filed a case against three unidentified men with Panchlaish Police Station.