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Dhaka Tribune

Investigators close in on Tavella and Kunio killers

Update : 18 Oct 2015, 07:16 PM

Though the investigators claimed to have identified the killers and masterminds behind Italian citizen Cesare Tavella and Japanese Hoshi Kunio murders, the law enforcers are yet to disclose the information due to a lack of concrete evidence.

The planner, who belongs to an anti-government political party, chalked out both the killings from a hideout somewhere in the capital, sources in the police’s Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and Detective Branch (DB) said.

“The investigators are now trying to arrest the leader by tracing his location,” a senior official of DB police said yesterday, adding that the two murders had been conducted by four groups, who looked into the planning, financing, publicity and the murders.

Investigators said that they had identified three killers of Tavella and three others who killed Hoshi. Now they are trying to seize the firearms and the motorcycles.

Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that they were very close to making significant breakthrough in the cases. “We hope we can disclose the progress soon,” he added.

The minister alleged that the country and the ruling government were targeted by plotters, who cannot tolerate the ongoing development activities.

“It is a conspiracy. Even the prime minister clarified the matter. Those who had opposed the Liberation War in 1971 have now become part of the plot hatched by local and international groups.”

He also expressed frustration as the US again issued travel alert for its citizens in Bangladesh. “However, our law enforcement agencies are on alert,” he added.

The government has also trashed as baseless the claim by international terrorist group Islamic State of killing the two foreign nationals.

Meanwhile, DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Miah yesterday said that they had not found the involvement of any local militant group in the murder of foreigners. “The investigators have identified the mastermind and the shooter in Tavella murder,” he announced during a press briefing at the DMP media centre.

He said that the investigators were collecting concrete evidence to arrest the culprits.

The DMP boss termed the killing a planned conspiracy, but refrained from naming a party or individual for the sake of the investigation.

Asked about the time required for arresting the murderers, he said: “An investigation cannot be done within any time limit. It may take seven hours to seven years. However, we are hopeful to expose the killers soon.”

In response to another question, the DMP chief said that the police had not targeted any party or group during the investigation.

NGO official Tavella was killed in Dhaka’s Gulshan diplomatic zone on September 28 while Japanese citizen Hoshi Kunio in Rangpur on October 3. Both of them were shot and killed from behind by gunmen on motorcycles. Kunio was staying in Rangpur since early this year and ran a grass farm.

Investigators dealing with Hoshi murder claimed that they had identified the three murderers and were looking for the mastermind. The suspects are members of an anti-government party.

On Saturday, Hoshi’s partner Humayun Kabir Hira was placed on a five-day fresh remand. Investigators said that a pro-BNP leader was also held for questioning in the case.

Earlier, a Jubo Dal leader was detained by Rangpur police and remanded. He was sent to jail on the third day of his 10-day remand.

Besides the detention of the suspects, the investigators also found a bank account where a huge financial transaction took place. The account also belong to an anti-government party. The account holder received around Tk89 lakh from Canada and the UK.

Detectives in Rangpur said that they had got the information after analysing detail phone call records of nearly 100 suspected numbers. There were some abnormal phone calls near the murder spot.

They said that the planning of both the killings including hiring the killers, managing funds and supply of arms was done by the mastermind from a hideout in Dhaka. Some abnormal cell phone activity founds in Rangpur district, around the murder spot of Hoshi.

A member of the investigation committee dealing with Tavella murder, requesting anonymity, told the Dhaka Tribune yesterday that they were now trying to recover the firearms and the motorcycle used in Tavella murder. “The killers are now under surveillance,” he said.

Monirul Islam, joint commissioner of DB police, said that they were conducting drives to arrest the three killers who had taken part in Tavella murder.

Before Tavella murder, a state-run intelligence agency submitted a report to the Home Ministry mentioning that an anti-government party might engage in subversive activities to embarrass the ruling government. 

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