Ex-Major Sinha Murder Case: 7 policemen sent to jail | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 07, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:57 AM, August 07, 2020

Ex-Major Sinha Murder Case: 7 policemen sent to jail

Teknaf OC, 2 others on remand

In a rare instance, law enforcers involved in a "shootout" or "gunfight" have been sent to jail.

Seven policemen were sent to jail and three of them placed on remand yesterday in the ex-Major Sinha murder case.

Officer-in-charge of Teknaf Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das, Inspector Liaqat Ali, and sub-inspector Nandadulal Rakhshit were each placed on a 7-day remand by a Cox's Bazar court.

The four other accused will be interrogated at the jail gate by Rab officers, informed the plaintiff's lawyer Mohammed Mostofa.

The ruling was given by Teknaf Senior Judicial Magistrate Md Helal Uddin at Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner's office.

The policemen sought bail, but the magistrate rejected their petition.

Initially, the magistrate ordered all of them to be taken to Cox's Bazar district jail to await trial, but then the Rab official investigating the case appealed to the court for placing the accused on remand. So, the decisions were  changed later in the evening.

Following the hearing, the officers placed on remanwere handed over to Rab-15, while the other four policemen were taken to jail.

The development was welcome by many.

Supreme Court lawyer Zahirul Islam Khan Panna, chairperson of Ain o Salish Kendra, said, "While this is rare example of justice, let the process not stop here. Police are supposed to be upholders of the law, not killers. Let this action also serve as a warning that crossfires must stop."

Liaqat is the prime accused in the case filed by Sinha's sister Sharmen Shahria Ferdush, while OC Pradeep is the second accused. The others are sub-inspectors Nandadulal Rakhsit, Litan Miah and Tutul, and constables Mostofa, Safanur Rahman, Kamal and Abdullah Al Mamun.

Tutul and constable Mostofa have not been arrested yet, said Public Prosecutor Faridul Alam of Cox's Bazar.

Officer-in-Charge of Teknaf Police station Pradeep Kumar Saha reported himself to Chattogram Metropolitan Police Commissioner Mahbubur Rahman.

Pradeep had left his police station on Tuesday saying he was sick, and yesterday morning, he showed up at the Dampara Divisional Police Hospital complaining of hypertension and chest pain, said the CMP Commissioner.

The commissioner claimed that Pradeep did not know that there was an arrest warrant out for him until he arrived at the hospital, and upon learning, he expressed his wish to willingly surrender.

Inspector Liaqat Ali's whereabouts had been unknown since he was closed four days ago, until his appearance in court yesterday. Sources in the police headquarters claimed that he had been in police custody all throughout.

Liakat Ali and five other accused were taken to the court at Cox's Bazar Deputy Commissioner's office around 3:45pm. Pradeep arrived there around 5:00pm.

Arrest warrants had been issued against the accused by the court on Wednesday night.

OC Pradeep took charge of the Teknaf Model Police Station on October 19 of 2018.

According to The Daily Star reports, at least 84 people were shot dead by Teknaf police since he took office.

Citing media reports, Transparency International Bangladesh in a statement said as of July 30, 287 people died in "gunfights" with law enforcers in Cox's Bazar since an anti-narcotic drive began in 2018.

None of the families of the 84 people killed by Teknaf police, have prosecuted the police.

In fact, there have been rare occurrences of families of people shot dead by law enforcers filing cases against officers. This is the first time law enforcers were taken into custody for so-called gunfights.

Ex-Major Sinha, 36, had been making travel documentaries for a YouTube channel called "Just Go". On July 31, he was returning to Cox's Bazar from Teknaf. His car was stopped at Shaplapur on Marine Drive road.

The police claimed that they tried to search the vehicle, and Sinha aimed his pistol at them prompting them to shoot back in self-defence. They also claimed that they seized drugs from the vehicle.

Two cases have been initiated over the incident. But the police account raised many questions, prompting the government to form a committee to investigate the incident.

BSS reports, a joint patrol of Bangladesh Army and Police will be deployed in Cox's Bazar aiming to keep the law and order situation normal there in the wake of the death of Major (retd) Sinha.

To keep the law and order situation normal in Cox's Bazar and bring the confidence of locals back after the murder of Major (retd) Sinha, Bangladesh Army Chief General Aziz Ahmed and Inspector General of Police Benazir have agreed to conduct a joint patrol there and have given necessary instructions to their respective forces to this end, an ISPR press release said.

Noting that the killing of Sinha was 'an isolated incident', the Army Chief and the IGP hoped that fair investigation into the killing and ensuring exemplary punishment to those involved in the killing will make the existing mutual trust between the two forces deepened and strengthened more.

As per the directives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, a high-level joint probe committee was constituted, which started its probe on August 4. On Wednesday, the Chief of Army Staff and the Police IGP visited the spot and exchanged views with the local officers of their respective forces and gave necessary instructions to this end.

The Army Chief and the IGP said the responsible forces will not take the responsibility of the individuals involved in the incident and it would not affect the long-standing good relations of the two forces.


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