One year of Sinha murder: ‘Gradual’ progression of the case
Published: 12:42 PM, 31 July 2021
Retired Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan
Today, July 31, marks one year of the brutal murder of retired Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan who was shot dead by police firing at the Shamlapur police checkpost of Teknaf Police Station on this day in 2020.
Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous filed a case on August 5 of the same year, accusing former in-charge of Baharchara police investigation center Liaquat Ali, former OC of Taknaf Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das and 8 others.
The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) later got the charge to investigate the case as per the court order.
The next day, on August 6, 7 policemen, including the main accused Liaquat Ali and Pradeep Kumar Das, surrendered before the court. Later, RAB arrested three witnesses in another case filed by the police in connection with the murder and three members of the Armored Police Battalion (APBN) on duty at the Shamlapur checkpost. Another accused in the case, Teknaf police constable Rubel Sharma, was also detained later.
Investigating officer Khairul Islam questioned the 14 accused arrested in the case on remand for different terms. Of these, 12 accused have apologized in court with confessional statements. However, Pradeep Kumar Das and Constable Rubel Sharma did not testify.
After a long four-month investigation, a chargesheet was filed against 15 people, including Pradeep Kumar Das, on December 13. Later, Constable Sagar Deb, the only fugitive accused in the case, surrendered before the court on June 24 this year. Later, the court fixed June 27 as the date for the “testimony before framing charges” against 15 accused including Pradeep.
When asked about the progress of the case, Cox’s Bazar District and Sessions Judge’s Court Public Prosecutor Faridul Alam Chowdhury said Judge Mohammad Ismail framed the charge of the case on June 27. Although the plaintiffs were scheduled to testify in the case on July 26, 27 and 28, it “did not happen due to strict lockdown”.
Mentioning that 10 witnesses of the plaintiff were scheduled to testify in the court, Faridul Alam Chowdhury said the next date for taking testimony has not been given yet. However, we are hopeful that the trial of this case will end soon.
According to the chargesheet, Sinha went to Cox’s Bazar on July 3, 2020, with his two aides to make a travelogue-based documentary. While working in Teknaf, he was informed by locals about the various evil deeds of Pradeep. At one point, Pradeep also learned the Sinha matter.
A few days later, Sinha met Pradeep. At the first sight, Pradeep threatened Sinha. He also told Liaquat Ali, an inspector at the Baharchara police investigation center, about Sinha. Later, a secret meeting was held with the sources at the police station.
It is learned that the accused also tried to beat Sinha, making him a robber as planned, however, he was later shot.
The chargesheet says Inspector Liaquat informed the district SP about the incident at 9.30 pm. Sinha was still alive at that time, but Liaquat did not arrange for his treatment. The chargesheet also mentioned “the SP should have been more active in revealing the real mystery behind the murder and identifying the culprits”.
Meanwhile, another chargesheet by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has said that Pradeep Kumar Das’s wife Chumki became a millionaire due to his “illegal income”. The ACC has filed a chargesheet in the court after investigating the case against them for acquiring illegal assets.
ACC Integrated District Office Chittagong-2 Assistant Director Md. Riaz Uddin filed the chargesheet in the court of Chattogram Senior Special Judge Sheikh Ashfaqur Rahman on Monday.
According to the ACC, the investigation into the case against Pradeep Kumar Das and his wife has been proved. They have been accused of acquiring assets worth Tk 2,35,98,417 and concealing information about assets worth Tk 49,58,957. There have also been allegations of transferring money earned outside the known income to others.