Teknaf police claim four shots were fired while inquest report says Sinha suffered six gunshots
Contradictions between the case statement, inquest report and leaked phone conversations between senior police officials have sown more doubt about the death of retired Bangladesh Army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan in a police shooting at Teknaf on July 31.
Interestingly, the two witnesses, named in the arms and narcotics case filed by police in this connection, are completely unaware of the incidents.
The case statement accounts for four bullets being fired while the inquest report says Sinha had suffered six gunshot wounds. It is unclear who fired the two shots that are not accounted for.
Furthermore, the case statement claims Sinha had drugs in his possession, but there is no mention of drugs in the leaked phone conversations.
The lone eyewitness to the incident Sahedul Islam Sifat, a Film and Media student of Stamford University, said Sinha did not aim his pistol at any point.
Sinha’s family claims police have been making false statements about the incident to avoid responsibility for murdering the former major.
Witnesses know nothing
The two witnesses of the incident, named by police, have no idea about the incidents.
They neither witnessed the incident nor did they hear about it. All they know is police took their signatures on a blank paper, without making the reason clear to them.
At least two witnesses out of total three named in the case statement claimed they signed on the papers following police's order without knowing anything.
Nurul Amin of Marishbunia in Teknaf, the first witness claimed he only heard about the incident, but when he went to the area later, there was no evidence there.
Another witness M Aiyash of the same area said he and Nurul Amin was called to local police outpost after the incident and their signs were taken on the following day of the murder at Teknaf Police Station.
The witness claimed he was not willing, but police forcefully took his signature.
How many bullets fired?
According to the case statement filed by Teknaf police’s Sub-Inspector Nanda Dulal Rakkhit, the outpost in-charge (Inspector Liakat Ali) asked the person in the driver's seat to get out of the car and stand with his hands raised above his head and asked him to identify himself. After arguing for a while, the man, identified as an army major, got out of the car and pulled out a pistol from the right side of his waist.
“IC Sir (Liakat Ali) fired four shots with his pistol to protect the lives of himself and fellow officers," the case statement read.
However, Sub-Inspector Md Aminul Islam said in the inquest report there were six gunshot wounds on Sinha’s body — below his left shoulder, in the left arm, left ribs, above his waist on the left, in his back and another above his waist.
In a leaked phone conversation between Cox’s Bazar Superintendent of Police (SP) ABM Masud Hossain and Teknaf police station Officer in-Charge (OC) Pradeep Kumar Das, the OC told the SP that he ordered Liakat to shoot after Sinha had shot at him.
Pradeep informed SP Masud that Liakat had signalled Sinha’s vehicle at a checkpoint, but shots were fired from the car. Pradeep then permitted Liakat to return fire.
There was no mention of any drugs in the conversation, though the case statement claims yaba pills, marijuana and liquor were found in Sinha’s car.
Yet another account of the shooting is found in a leaked telephone conversation between SP Masud and Inspector Liakat.
In the phone call, Liakat informs SP Masud that there was a person wearing an army T-shirt in the car. As the officer approached the vehicle, the passenger identified himself as an army major.
Liakat claimed the passenger then aimed a weapon at him and he retaliated with gunfire.
It has been alleged that Cox's Bazar SP Masud has been trying to manipulate facts of the incident from the very beginning by providing false accounts.
Asked about the SP’s role in the incident, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal told the media on Friday that no one would be spared in the murder of Sinha.
“Once the investigation report is there, we can tell whether the Cox's Bazar superintendent of police (SP) was involved or not. We can also confirm the names of people responsible for the murder. Nothing can be said before that,” the home minister said.
“The prime minister is working to establish the rule of law. Action will be taken on the basis of the investigation report over the Cox’s Bazar incident,” he added.