Cops have evidence of AL men's involvement | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 20, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 20, 2010

Sanaullah Babu Murder

Cops have evidence of AL men's involvement

Medical report says victim's tendon wasn't severed; main accused Zakir allegedly under MP's shelter

Bereaved Mahua Noor Kochi, wife of slain Boraigram upazila chairman Sanaullah Noor Babu, addressing a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club yesterday. Sitting next to her are two of her daughters.Photo: STAR

While the Natore Awami League and the local MP are trying to portray the murder of BNP leader Sanaullah Noor Babu as a sequel to BNP's internal feud, the investigators are certain that the ruling party activists had committed the offence.
Investigation officer (IO) of the case Sub-Inspector Abdul Hannan of Detective Branch said he has specific evidence that proves the involvement of prime accused KM Zakir Hossain and other accused in the killing.
"The fact is clear like daylight. I have enough evidence against the accused but they are now hiding to escape arrests," the IO told The Daily Star, adding that his primary target is to capture the perpetrators.
"How long will they stay in hiding? Once the main accused is caught the others would come out one after another," he said.
Eyewitnesses of the killing, on condition of anonymity, also spoke against Zakir to The Daily Star.
One such witness said Zakir led a group of around hundred ruling party activists on October 8. When the procession approached the Bonpara Bazar, Zakir's group attacked the rally with sticks and other weapons and beat up the people in the procession at random.
He said while others managed to flee from the scene Babu was surrounded by the group and was beaten up for 15 minutes until he collapsed.
On October 9, Babu's wife filed a case with the police accusing 47 people with Zakir being the principal accused.
Police have so far managed to arrest one accused, Awami League worker Rappu, while the rest are absconding.
Video footage of the incident clearly shows many ruling party activists beating Babu mercilessly.
The local parliamentarian and Awami League leader Abdul Quddus on October 14 made a public speech assuring the accused that no action would be taken against them as none from the ruling party was involved in the killing.
Zakir Hossain is now using a cellphone to keep contact with his family and party leaders. The Daily Star on Saturday interviewed him over the phone.
Zakir claimed innocence and said he could not have harmed Babu since he had no feud with him. He also claimed that he tried to save Babu from the attackers.
He said Babu's tendons were not cut and that was something done after he was taken on an ambulance by BNP people.
The Daily Star managed to collect Babu's autopsy report from Rajshahi Medical College Hospital. The report mentioned injuries in the head, eyes, legs, chest, abdomen, lower back and bones. It did not say anything about severed tendons.
"The death, in my opinion, was due to hemorrhage and shock following the injuries and it was homicidal in nature," said the doctor who signed the autopsy report.
AL insiders say Zakir has decided to surrender before the court having green signal from party leaders. "His local political guru Quddus is providing him all the support in this regard," said an AL leader.
When MP Abdul Quddus was asked whether he was trying to protect the killers, he said, "As a journalist you may ask the question, but many people, who were not in Bonpara that day, were accused in the case."
"Zakir and others were trying to save Babu," he claimed.
The Daily Star asked the MP, "Then who killed him?"
Quddus replied, "I can't say that since it is a matter of investigation now."
"Then how could you say that the ruling party men were not involved - would it not affect the investigation," asked The Daily Star and the MP remained silent in reply.
Then The Daily Star further asked, "What role would you play if the investigation finds your people involved in the murder?"
Quddus said, "Then my party would decide about it."
Asked whether he backs Zakir's criminal activities, the MP became very angry and said a journalist should not taint a politician in such a manner. "He [Zakir] comes from a good family and is not involved with criminal activities," Quddus said.
A member of Boraigram Upazila unit AL, Zakir had taken control of Baraigram upazila soon after his party won the parliamentary elections in December 2008.
Backed by MP from Baraigram-Gurudaspur constituency Abdus Quddus, he managed to establish total control over the local politics, tender manipulation, extortion and land grabbing.
But he does not do it directly. He leads a large group comprised of leaders and activists of Jubo League, Swechchhasebok League and Chhatra League to unleash his illegal actions, locals say.
“Zakir is the all in all in Bonpara since the local MP gave him the power to deal with every affair here,” said a hotel owner in Bonpara Bazar.
“He (Zakir) is now the godfather of Baraigram,” a shop-keeper at the bazaar told The Daily Star, adding that Zakir, his two brothers and party leaders have joined hands to rule the upazila.
Zakir has a large family in Mohishabhanga village near Bonpara Bazaar, which is also a source of his strength. Although he is involved in various illegal activities, he tries to compensate that with the killing of his father, freedom fighter Ainal Haq, allegedly by BNP activists on March 28, 2000.

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