A man killed his employee and accused his opponents of the murder in a case in Kushtia over 30 years ago. A three-decade-long investigation into the murder has finally revealed the truth.
The Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) has filed a charge sheet in the court against the plaintiff and nine others. Two of the accused have already died while the others, suffering from old age complications, are bed-ridden.
Arrest warrants have also been issued against the accused.
After Nur Mohammad, a day labourer, was murdered on the night of June 24, 1987, at Kushtia’s Bongshitola, his employer Majed Ali Joardar filed a case accusing 13 men who were from a rival group.
PBI investigation has revealed that Majed and nine others were involved in the killing. Inspector Sheikh Monaem Hossain of Kushtia district PBI filed the charge sheet.
“Three police units – Kushtia district police, CID and PBI – have investigated the case,” he said. “We have finally managed to press charges against the real killers. The murder took place over a turf war.”
Nur Mohammad's murder
Nur, a resident of the sadar upazila’s Bongshitola village, worked in the paddy fields of others. He also worked as a domestic help at Majed’s house.
On the night of June 24, 1987, Majed asked Nur to come to his house saying he had work for him.
Nur’s body was found on the morning of June 25. He was shot dead.
Majed filed a case with Kushtia sadar police the same day.
Over 30 years of investigation
Thirteen men, including a local Altaf Molla, were accused in the case.
Kushtia police first investigated the case. Later, the then district police chief recommended transferring the case to the CID on July 11, 1987, considering its importance.
CID Inspector Abdul Barek started investigating the case on September 6 that year. When Majed realized that the investigation was about to uncover the truth, he made Nur’s second wife Tohurannesa file a case with the court expressing dissatisfaction with the probe.
Inspector Barek resumed investigation after the court dismissed Tohura’s case on April 26 the following year. But Nur’s wife moved the High Court the same year seeking a stay order on the murder case proceedings. At that time, the High Court was located in Jessore.
The High Court dismissed the case on November 4, 2004, but the case proceedings had remained halted during this period. The CID then resumed investigation. Eleven officers of the Criminal Investigation Department investigated the case.
It gradually became clear that the murder had taken place to put blame on the killers’ opponents. The CID made Nur’s son from first marriage, Amirul Islam, file a murder case with the District and Sessions Judge’s Court on January 30, 2005.
Ten men, including Majed, 94, Mohammad Kuddus Joarder, 90, Golam Kibria, 65, Mohammad Kalam, 60, were named in Amirul’s case. The CID filed the final report in that case on April 30 that year.
Amirul’s case was recorded as a regular case at Kushtia police station. Majed challenged the CID’s findings in court. The case documents were sent to Kushtia’s additional sessions judge court 1 for hearing on June 14, 2012. The case remained pending there until September 7 last year.
The court ordered further investigation into the case by the PBI on September 7, 2016. The PBI appointed an investigating officer on September 18 that year.
Two witnesses, including Nur’s son Amirul, who was seven at the time of his father’s death, testified before the court. Amirul was present at the spot when Majed had come to their house and went away with his father.
The PBI also filed the final report on October 2 in the murder case filed by Majed.
What the investigation officer says
PBI Inspector Monaem said two groups fought for dominance in Kushtia’s Bongshipara in the 1980s. One was led by Majed and the other by Altaf Molla.
The groups had engaged in many bloody turf wars. A member of Altaf Molla's group was murdered in March 1986. Altaf filed a case accusing Majed of the murder.
Majed, on the other hand, murdered his employee Nur and accused Altaf of the murder. The plaintiff used the case as a diversion and to put his opponent under pressure.
Adding that the people involved with the matter are now old, Inspector Monaem said: “At present, none of the groups has influence in the locality.”
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune