The Rapid Action Battalion headquarters today denied issuing any order for the arrest of Nazrul Islam, the Narayanganj city corporation councilor who was kidnapped and killed along with six others in April.
Rab Director General Mokhlesur Rahman today made the claim at a press briefing at the elite force's headquarters in Dhaka, reports Bangla daily the Prothom Alo which published a report on the alleged Rab HQ directive in today's print issue.
In a text message sent to journalists, the Rab DG claimed that the HQ was not aware about the murder of the seven people in Narayanganj beforehand.
"The Rab headquarters does not want acquittal of any of its personnel involved in criminal activities," the text message reads.
Tareque Sayeed, the former commanding officer of Rab's Narayanganj unit, is among 26 arrested in connection with the grisly murder that shook the whole nation. Fourteen of the arrestees, including Sayeed, have given confessional statement admitting their roles in the killing.
“Rab HQ does not issue order to arrest any specific person. It asks to take action on a particular matter after scrutinising information given by the commanders. It is commanders’ decision who will be arrested or not,” the DG said.
Mokhlesur said Rab provided assistance to unearth the fact after gathering information and also helped police to arrest the accused. “There was no secret,” he added.
The Rab official urged the media only to write about the accused instead of putting the blame on the whole force.
If Rab, as an organisation, faces any loss, people of the country will suffer also, he said.
EXCERPT FROM PROTHOM ALO ARTICLE
In a news article published today, the Prothom Alo said Rab headquarters ordered the arrest of Nazrul Islam. Col Ziaul Hasan, additional director general (operation) of Rab, gave the order to Lt Col Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, the then commanding officer of Rab-11, in March. Nazrul was abducted and killed in April, the article added.
Former Rab officer Tareque, an accused in the much-talked-about seven-murder case, gave the information in his confessional statement under the section 164, Prothom Alo said quoting investigation authorities concerned
Maj Arif Hossain, another accused in the case and then deputy commanding officer of Rab-11, said in his confessional statement that Tareque ordered to abduct all the seven people, including eyewitness.
Nur Hossain, another councillor, provided all the information about Nazrul Islam. Col Ziaul ordered to kill Nur Hossain also, he claimed in the statement.
Maj Arif gave his confessional statement before the Court of Narayanganj Senior Sessions Judge AKM Muhiuddin under the section 164 on June 4, while Tareque gave confessional statement before the court on June 18.
The Prothom Alo report said Tareque took the charge of commanding officer of Rab-11 in November, 2013.
In his confessional statement, Tarique said Col Ziaul Hasan gave him a list of terrorists after the Rab commanders’ monthly meeting that held at Rab headquarters in March, and asked him to arrest them.
In the list, name of Nazrul Islam was specially marked. In case of arresting anyone, the decision of additional director general (operation) is final, he said in the statement.
The Prothom Alo report quoted Col Ziaul as saying according to the rule Rab commanders are not given any list of terrorists at their meeting.
Col Ziaul refuted Tareque’s claim saying that several other Rab officers also attended the meeting, the Prothom Alo report added.
He posed a question if he had ordered the arrest then why Tareque would have not informed him after arresting Nazrul on April, 27.
Col Ziaul said after the abduction, he phoned Tareque and wanted to know about the incident when Tareque replied that he did not know about it.
He said Tareque always tried to avoid him about the matter. Though Maj Arif was involved in the incident, Tareque told that Arif was sent to Munshiganj.
In April 27, Ward Councillor Nazrul Islam, his lawyer and five associates went missing along with their vehicles. Later law enforcers found the bodies in Shitalakkhya River, within a span of three days, tied to bags full of bricks.
Three Rab officials -- Lt Colonel Tareque Sayeed Mohammad, Major Arif Hossain and Lt Commander Masud Rana – were accused in the case and dismissed from service on May 6 for their alleged involvement in the case.
Law enforcers on May 17 arrested Tareque and Arif from Dhaka cantonment for their alleged part in the seven-murder case.
Kolkata police arrested Nur Hossain, the prime accused in the seven-murder in Narayanganj, on June 14 and he admitted his involvement in the abduction and gruesome murder on June 16.