IO doesn’t want forensic tests of Sinha’s gun, phone

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The investigation officer (IO) of a case filed over the killing of retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan does not want to conduct forensic and ballistic tests of Sinha’s loaded gun, his two mobile phone sets and a DSLR camera.

The IO has submitted an application with the court in this regard as well.

Why would such important evidences not be examined, Prothom Alo asked Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) legal and media wing director lieutenant colonel Ashiq Billah.

He said the IO thinks it is not necessary and that’s why he does not want to conduct the tests.

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Court sources said RAB assistant superintendent of police, also the IO, Khairul Islam appealed to the court of Cox’s Bazar senior judicial magistrate on 5 September.

At same time, there was no evidence that the two mobile phone sets and a DSLR camera seized from his car could be threatening for the state

In that appeal, he said that analysing the statements of the witnesses and confessional statements of the accused during the investigation, he found no evidence of shots being fired from the gun that the retired army major Sinha used.

There was also no evidence that the two mobile phone sets and a DSLR camera seized from his car could be threatening for the state. That is why he does not think those clues need to be sent for forensic and ballistic examinations.

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Earlier, the court granted an appeal of the IO to conduct forensic and ballistic tests of this evidence. Police seized the items on the night of the incident.

Prothom Alo tried to contact IO Khairul Islam several times over phone but he did not receive the call.

Retired army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan was killed in police firing at Shamlapur police check post on Teknaf-Cox’s Bazar Marine Drive in Baharchhara union of Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar around 9:30pm of 31 July.

The check post in-charge, police inspector Liaqat Ali, fired the shots.

Police detained Shahedul Islam (Sifat) who was with Sinha at the time. Later the law enforcement raided Nilima Resort in Cox’s Bazar, where Sinha was staying, and detained two members of Sinha’s team – Shipra Debnath and Tahsin Rifat Noor - who were working on a travel documentary. The law enforcement members released Noor but sent Shipra and Sifat to jail. They were later released on bail.

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Four lawsuits were filed in connection with the Sinha murder. Immediately after the incident, police filed three cases. Deceased Sinha was also made accused in those cases. A few days later, deceased Sinha’s elder sister Sharmin Shahriya Ferdous filed a murder case.

RAB was given the responsibility to investigate all the cases. The force arrested 10 members of the police force including suspended Teknaf police station OC Pradeep Kumar Das and Baharchhara police check post inspector Liaqat Ali, as well as three people of the village where Sinha went to film the documentary in the hills, before falling victim to police firing.

Among the arrested, five policemen, excluding Pradeep, and three villagers gave confessional statements in court. Four accused are still on remand while nine accused including Pradeep are in jail.

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