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The murder that was never committed

  • Published at 01:07 am September 5th, 2019
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Police department has just commissioned a probe to unearth the mystery

The murder has never been committed.

Yet, police in Bangladesh managed to glean confessional statements of four accused in a homicide case! 

While the teenager, Abu Sayeed, who was claimed to had been murdered, returned home fit and alive, three of his ‘perceived murderers’ are languishing in jail for past three years. 

And yet the police officer in question is insisting that he submitted the charge sheet as per confessional statements. 

Police department has just commissioned a probe to unearth the mystery. 

Abu Sayeed is very much alive

Teenager Abu Sayeed was not murdered at all. He came back home alive and later, a Dhaka court sent him to jail on Tuesday after a two-day remand in a fraud case.

The story begun when Md Azam, father of Abu Sayeed, filed a general diary (GD) with Hazaribagh police station on July April 17, 2014 saying that his son went missing two days earlier.

According to police, Sayeed, who was a fifth grader in 2014, is now 18.

Sayeed did not return to his Hazaribagh home from Bara Masjid Matripithh School on April 15, 2014, his father mentioned in the GD. 

However, two weeks later, Azam claimed to have received a phone call from the abductors demanding Tk200,000 ransom for Sayeed. Following it, Azam filed an abduction case under the Women and Children Repression Prevention Act with the same police station on July 7, 2014, without naming anyone.

Afterwards, Sub Inspector (SI) Ruhul Amin of the Detective Branch (DB) of Dhaka Metropolitan Police was assigned to investigate the case. He arrested Sonia Akter, her brother Afzal Hossain, cousin Saiful Islam Hawlader and relative Shahin Raji from Barisal’s Hizla upazila on July 7, the day the case was lodged.

Later, Afzal confessed to killing Sayeed before a court describing how he pushed Sayeed off a launch after kidnapping him. Another accused Saiful also gave the same confessional statement.

SI Ruhul Amin pressed charges against four people including Afzal and Sonia on June 15, 2015, revealing before the court that he identified the accused through cell phone call-list. 

After abducting Sayeed, they took him to launch MV Ovijan on April 16, 2014, the SI said, adding that Afzal and Saiful pushed the youngster off the vessel.

Dhaka Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal-5 already recorded deposition of all the witnesses and the investigation officer of the case.

The court also fixed September 5 for both the sides to place their arguments. 

Abduction was framed-up

In such a situation, a fresh investigation by Hazibagh police dramatically revealed that Sayeed never died as he returned home on August 29. The so called abduction, too, was cooked-up to frame Sonia, Afzal, Saiful and Shahin.

On the following day, Sayeed and his parents were detained by the police, said SI London Chowdhury.

During the investigation, they revealed that Sayeed was not thrown into the river, but left his home without telling anyone following an altercation with his father.

Sayeed told police that he went to Nabinagar and then to Gazipur and started working in a motor workshop. 

However, Azam defended himself saying that they managed to track down Sayeed just two weeks ago.

Negotiation over false murder 

The return of Sayeed was revealed when Nasir Uddin Khokon, managing director of transport company Bihanga Paribahan and the person who was negotiating with the youth's father on behalf of Sonia, for withdrawal of the murder case.

Nasir said Afzal and Sonia were from his village home in Hizla upazila. After being sued in the murder case, the family members of the accused met him, claiming that they never knew Abu Sayeed.

After a long negotiation, Nasir managed to get hold of Azam, who agreed to withdraw the case for Tk800,000.

“But, he (Azam) finally took Tk500,000 and went into hiding,” Nasir said.

Nasir recently called Azam to see him at his Pallabi residence as another hearing on the case was slated for September 5.

“I requested him to appear before the court and say something so the accused are handed down a lesser punishment,” he added.

The next day, Azam phoned Nasir and said that Sayeed had returned home. As fixed, Azam and his wife Mahinur Begum came to Nasir’s home in the afternoon of August 29.

"Later, I handed them over to police,” Nasir said.

Accused knocks the court's door

In the wake of the incident, Sonia sued seven people including Sayeed and his parents with Hazaribagh police station on August 30.

Police produced Sayeed, his parents and relative Abdul Jabbar at a Dhaka court on Tuesday, after two days of remand. 

Sonia claimed that her former husband Miraj was the main culprit for this conspiracy. 

"After Sayeed's disappearance, his father Azam filed the case without accusing anyone. When my former husband came to know about the case, he in association with SI Ruhul Amin used the case against me and my family members," she said.

After their arrest, police forced them to give confessional statement, she told the court. "Iwas in jail for six months but my brothers Afzal and Saiful were in jail for around three years," Sonia said. 

However, SI Ruhul Amin, who is now serving under Demra police station, denied the allegation saying that they did not torture anyone and recorded the statement according to the High Court rules. 

When asked about how he finalized the charge sheet, despite failing to find the trace of the corpse, the SI told Dhaka Tribune, adding: "I have submitted the charge sheet according to their confessional statements."

When contacted, Abdul Baten, additional commissioner of Detective Branch of DMP said that a probe committee, headed by a deputy commissioner, has been formed to investigate the incident. 

"Details will be unveiled after getting the probe report," he added.