8 JMB men charged
The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Rajshahi pressed murder charges against eight militants of Jama'atul Mujahideen Bangladesh (JMB) yesterday in connection with the killing of Prof Muhammad Yunus, a Rajshahi University (RU) teacher.
CID Inspector Mohammad Helauddin, also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, submitted the charge sheet and prayed for acquitting five activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir who were accused of murder.
The IO said previously police reports said Shibir activists were behind the gruesome murder but the line of investigation changed following the confessional statements of executed JMB chief Abdur Rahman.
Abdur Rahman before the joint interrogation cell said Shafiullah Tarek, adopted grandson of militant kingpin suspect Asadullah Al Galib, and Shahidullah Mahbub, husband of the executed JMB leader Siddiqul Islam Bangla Bhai's niece, were the masterminds behind the killing, sources said.
The others accused in the case are JMB militants Abu Isa Enamul and Golamur Rahman Mostafa--also adherents of Galib's Ahle Hadith Jubo Sangha--Abul Kashem Tufan, Abdul Matin Bomaru, Abdur Rahman Arif and Zakir Zayed.
The IO said a group of 10 militants committed the murder, adding that one of them, Ibrahim, was murdered in 2005 and Abbas is yet to be identified.
Quoting the confessional statement of Tarek Mahbub, the IO said Yunus was killed because he was an "atheist".
"Prof Yunus was an anti-Islamic force and he was an abettor and godfather of the communist outlaws. This is why, he was killed," the IO quoted the confessional statement.
Abdur Rahman ordered Mahbub to kill him several weeks before the murder, the IO said.
Mahbub allegedly selected a team of 10 militants and in the early hours on December 24, 2004, the gang stabbed and beat Prof Yunus with iron rods while he was out for his morning walk.
The CID, however, brushed aside previous police findings of Shibir involvement in the killing.
They asked former Binodhpur Shibir president Sirajus Salehjin, Zillur Rahman, Mizanur Rahman, Nazimul Islam and Monirul Islam to be acquitted of the charge.
During police investigations, two eyewitnesses in separate judicial statements narrated the murder of Prof Yunus by four assailants. The police also explained in their reports to courts that the statements of the eyewitnesses were backed up by other circumstantial evidence and witnesses' accounts, sources said.
Jahangir Ali, a rickshaw-van puller and an eyewitness, in his statement in January 2005 said he identified only Shibir cadre Jafar Babu of Satbaria among the four killers.
A rickshaw-puller Shahidul Islam Babu on May 8, 2005 in his statement said he could identify Zillur Rahman, a RU security guard and an ally of Jafar, among the killers. He said Zillur threatened to kill him unless he went away from the crime scene.
Yunus had lodged a complaint with police in connection with an attack on him by Shibir cadres in 1995. He earned the wrath of alleged militant kingpin Galib in 1998 when he found out Galib had a 11-day secret tour of India.
Abdul Halim, Yunus's brother filed the murder case with Motihar Police Station. He in the case said Yunus had no personal enemy, only political enemy.