The probe committee formed by the home ministry to investigate the killing of retired army major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan has recommended a ‘criminal investigation’ to answer the questions raised over the killing.
The committee also said the district police should be more careful about preserving the crime scene of such incidents.
In addition, the committee recommended to form a joint probe team, like the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), combining the police, the army, the administration, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB), Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB), and other forces, according to home ministry sources.
The committee also said that the propensity of the law enforcement agencies to be less sensitive in using arms even in minor incidents, must be halted.
The investigation committee submitted the complete report to the home ministry's conference room in secretariat on Monday.
While submitting the report, Chittagong additional divisional commissioner (development), Mohammad Mizanur Rahman, told the media that the Sinha killing would in no way blemish the role of the police force. He said the force works untiringly for the country.
“Following the home ministry directives, we have inquired into the motive and reason of the incident and made recommendations on how to prevent such incidents,” Mizanur added.
The four-member committee sought answers to some questions including whether Sinha was carrying or aiming any weapon while getting out of the vehicle, whether the incident was prompt or premeditated, and who had ordered the killing. The committee also inquired into the alleged delay in taking Sihna to a hospital.
While submitting the report, the probe committee head was accompanied by member of the committee, lieutenant colonel SM Sajjad Hossain of Bangladesh Army. The other two members of the committee were additional district magistrate of Cox's Bazar, Mohammad Shahjahan Ali, and additional deputy inspector general of police, Zakir Hossain Khan.
“It took almost one month to draft the report. We have included the details regarding our activities since 3 August till today (7 September),” Mizanur said adding that, “We have introduced a list of the 68 witnesses. We have recorded their statements after questioning. We also staged a demo at the spot to understand the incident. We have talked to the people on the hill where major Sinha went.”
Before submitting the report, home minister Asaduzzaman Khan said, “The incident is under police investigation as per the court order and that’s why we cannot comment publicly on it. We’ll inform the court about it and the court can take it from us officially if necessary.”
The home minister assured the media that it would be informed about the action taken against those found guilty in the investigation.
Answering whether Sinha killing was premeditated, the home minister said, “The investigation report just reached me. We still do not know its contents.”
The original investigation report was 80 pages. It contains 12 recommendations on how to avoid such incidents in the future. In addition, the original report will be accompanied by 21 pages of pictures and 586 pages of the testimony of various witnesses.
Sinha was shot dead on 31 July night by police at Shamlapur check post on Marine Drive in Teknaf on his way back from in Marishbunia hills to Nilima Resort in Himchhari, Cox's Bazar.
As suspicions were raised regarding the police version the incident, the home ministry formed a three-member committee on 2 August. Another member was added on the following day, revising the committee.