Attack on Bank Officials: Police probe clears Sikder brothers

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Ron Haque Sikder and Dipu Haque Sikder

Police dropped the names of Ron Haque Sikder, managing director of Sikder Group, and his brother, from the investigation report of a case filed against them abducting, torturing and opening fire on two Exim Bank officials over permission for a loan.

Investigation Officer Md Ripon Uddin, also a sub-inspector of the Detective Branch of police, on July 29 submitted the probe report before the Dhaka Chief Metropolitan Magistrate's court, saying that both parties had settled the matter out of court.

The court will decide whether to accept the probe report after the regular court reopens, an official of the General Recording Office at CMM court said yesterday.

The other accused is Ron's brother Dipu Haque Sikder.

In the report, the IO said both the complainant and the accused on July 8 signed an agreement, where they said that they have settled the matter out of court.

The IO also obtained a copy of the agreement and attached it with the probe report.

The case was a "matter of factual error" as the ballistics report of the firearms, from which shots were fired did not match, the report said.

Upon receiving the copy of the agreement and the ballastics report, the IO submitted the final report before the court with pleas to relieve the brothers from the charges of the case.

"An agreement was made over the matter," Mohammed Haider Ali Miah, managing director and CEO of Exim Bank, told The Daily Star yesterday.

Ron Haque was arrested after he landed at the Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on February 12. He had returned from Dubai after to his father's death. He, however, was given an ad-interim bail soon after he was produced before the CMM court the same day.

On May 19 last year, Exim Bank Director Lt Col (retd) Serajul Islam filed the case against Ron and his brother Dipu for torturing and trying to kill the bank's managing director Mohammed Haider Ali Miah and additional managing director Mohammad Feroz Hossain.

According to the case statement, the two top officials were attacked after they refused to falsely inflate the value of the brothers' property that would be mortgaged for a Tk 500 crore loan, according to the case statement.

The brothers also tortured the two officials while confining them to a house in Banani and forced them to sign on a blank paper at gunpoint, read the case statements.

On May 25 last year, six days after the case was registered, the two brothers fled to Bangkok on an air ambulance that left Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport with government permission.

On July 20 the same year, the High Court fined Ron and his brother for seeking anticipatory bail from abroad in the case.

Rejecting their bail petition, an HC virtual bench ordered the siblings to give 5,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) each as fine to the Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund in two weeks to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.

The two have also been asked to file a report with the Supreme Court registrar general's office after submitting the PPEs to the fund.