Police have arrested a former Shibir activist in connection with the gruesome killing of Superintendent of Police (SP) Babul Akter’s wife Mahmuda Khanam Mitu.
Chittagong Metropolitan Police's (CMP) Additional Commissioner (Crime and Operation) Debdas Bhattachariya told reporters yesterday that the suspect was Abu Nosor Gunnu, 40, son of late Mofazzel Hossen. He was arrested from Farhadabad area of Hathazari upazila yesterday.
Additional Commissioner Debdas said: “Gunnu was a former Shibir activist and also accused in an abduction and murder case filed with Sitakunda police station.”
“We have learned that Gunnu went to Middle Eastern countries on several occasions. At first he was involved with Shibir and later he got mixed up in crimes. He used to look after a shrine in the Farhadabad area,” said Debdas.
Gunnu returned home from Middle East five-six years ago and started working at a local shrine.
Police will produce Gonnu in court in the murder case seeking time for interrogation, the commissioner said.
Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, wife of SP Babul Akter, was stabbed and shot to death by three unidentified motorcycle-riding assailants in front of her son Akter Mahmud Maheer in Chittagong city’s GEC area near her home last Sunday.
CMP Commissioner Iqbal Bahar told Dhaka Tribune over phone around 7:52pm that a black microbus that was seen at the crime scene had been seized in Chittagong city yesterday evening.
[caption id="attachment_3130" align="alignright" width="300"] This microbus that police suspect was used by a backup force for attackers who killed SP Babul Akter's wife Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, is seized and kept at CMP headquarters[/caption]
The microbus was seen in CCTV footages leaving the scene of the crime following the motorcycle and is believed to be a backup force for the killers.
The CMP chief did not disclose any detailed information about the seizure, saying: “Details will be revealed tomorrow (today) at CMP headquarters.”
Investigators have confirmed that several other people apart from the three assailants took part in the premeditated killing operation.
The team likely collected detailed information about the target and scouted CCTV positions.
Responding to a question about the possible connection between the recent targeted killings across the country and Mitu’s murder, Debdas said: “Mitu’s murder is also a targeted killing. But there are some similarities and dissimilarities. Police are trying to unearth the mystery and arrest the killers.”
'Motorcycle stolen last month'
The motorcycle used in the crime was stolen from its last owner's home in Boalkhali upazila in Chittagong last month, police said.
Police detained the owner Shahidullah on Tuesday.
“The motorcycle has exchanged hands several times and the police are quizzing its last owner,” a senior police official said.
It was stolen from Shahidullah’s home in Boalkhali upazila in May 8, the official added.
Shahidullah, who is a cook by profession, is still detained.
Earlier police found that the vehicle was registered to one Delwar Hossain of Jamalkhan, Chittagong city and detained the man. He told police he had sold it off in 2011.
Mitu's mobile still missing
The additional commissioner said the victim's mobile phone was yet to be found, but police have tracked its last location before it was switched off.
“The last call made from Mitu’s mobile was from the same place where the motorcycle was found, in city’s Badurtala area,” said Debdas.
Reports published in the media have claimed that the victim was out of her home sometime before scheduled time because of a text she received from her son's school. The phone was not found on her person or at home.
Police have also collected information from the mobile phone operator but there was no record of an SMS like that, said Debdas.
“There seems to be no authenticity in this matter,” he added.
Taking the militancy issue into consideration as Babul has a number of successful anti-militancy drives, police are investigating and working their best to identify and arrest the perpetrators, said Debdas.
Following the murder, SP Babul Akter filed a case accusing three unknown and their cohorts with Panchlaish police station.
DB police have been investigating the sensitive murder case while teams of RAB, Police, PBI and CID are jointly working on it, said police.