Photojournalist Aftab Ahmed murdered
A veteran photo journalist was found dead at his house in the capital's West Rampura yesterday.
When police recovered the body of 79-year-old Aftab Ahmed in the morning, his hands and legs were tied up and a gag was wrapped around his mouth, police sources said.
After a post mortem, Dhaka Medical College morgue said the Ekushey Padak winning photo journalist had been strangled.
Police and the victim's family members suspect that his driver Kabir, who was appointed on December 1 and could not be traced after the body's recovery, might have killed him for money.
Aftab, who had served the Bangla daily Ittefaq as chief photographer, saved Tk 1.5 lakh for a trip to India for treatment. According to the family, he had the whole amount or some portion with him, which the driver took away after the killing.
Aftab had been living alone in a flat on the second floor of a four-storey building at West Rampura.
His daughter Afroz Ahmed Borna, assistant librarian of National University, lives in Gazipur with her family, and his son Monoar Ahmed Sagor in Jessore where he works.
Aftab used to have his dinner before 9:00pm, said his son-in-law ASMG Faruk. His dinner plate was seen untouched yesterday and that meant he might have been killed before his dinner time the day before.
"He [Aftab] suffered a brain stroke and had old-age complications. He was supposed to go to India today [yesterday] but he had lately deferred his visit to the first week of January."
Driver Kabir used to stay in the attic of the building but a few days ago, his father-in-law asked him to stay elsewhere on receiving an allegation of theft against him, Faruk added.
Borna also suspected Kabir of commiting the murder. She said her father told her in a phone conversation around 6:00pm on Tuesday that he had had an altercation with Kabir that day but did not tell her of the issue.
The deceased's part-time house help Nasima Begum told The Daily Star that Aftab's cell phone was switched off and the flat was locked from inside when she came in the morning.
"I repeatedly rang the doorbell at 8:30am but did not get any response."
She then went to the adjacent flat and peeped through a glass ventilator into Aftab's bedroom.
"Everything in the room was scattered and uncle was lying on the floor," Nasima said.
She called Borna and informed her about the situation.
Around 10:00am, Rampura police recovered the body.
On information, officials of the Criminal Investigation Department also rushed to the spot and collected evidence.
Ikramul Haque, tenant of the flat next to Aftab's, said the television at Aftab's flat was on at high volume throughout the previous night.
Kreepa Shindhu Bala, officer-in-charge of Rampura Police Station, said police were searching for the driver.
Meanwhile, the Jatiya Press Club expressed grief over the unexpected demise of the veteran journalist and offered its condolences to the bereaved family.
The body is now at the DMCH morgue. It will be buried at Azimpur graveyard today on the arrival of his son from Jessore. A namaz-e-janaza will be held at the Press Club after zuhr prayers.
Hailing from Mohipur village in Rangpur, Aftab joined as a photographer of daily Ittefaq in 1962. He captured some images of the 1971 Liberation War and Bangabandhu Sheikh Majibur Rahman.
He was awarded Ekushey Padak in 2006. On December 16, 2010, miscreants took away his award and other valuables from his house.