Sinha was shot within two minutes of his car halting

OC Pradeep Kumar Das and two others are being taken from the Cox's Bazar central jail for interrogation in the Sinha killing caseProthom Alo

The RAB vehicle came to a halt at the petrol pump, a few yards ahead of Shamlapur check post in Teknaf. As a handcuffed figure emerged from the vehicle, someone in the crowd that had gathered there, shouted out, “There he is, Pradeep!” An uproar broke out in the crowd, filling the air around the spot of the incident in Shamlapur.

On 31 July night it was here at Shamlapur that the retired army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan was shot dead. The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) has said that Sinha was shot within two minutes of his car being halted there that night. The investigators are yet to determine what exactly occurred at the spot that night.

The three arrested members of the police, suspended officer-in-charge of the Teknaf police station Pradeep Kumar Das, in-charge of the Baharchhara police outpost Liaqat Ali, and sub-inspector (SI) of the Teknaf police station, Nandadulal Rakkhit, were taken to the spot to verify the accounts of the incident they gave during interrogations. Hundreds of people thronged the spot to get a glimpse of them.

Before they arrived at the site, news had leaked out that they would be brought there. People rushed to the spot, some standing by the roadside, some on the roof of the nearby mosque.

Investigating officer of the case, Khairul Islam, first arrived at 2:00 pm at the Shamlapur check post. A few minutes later SI Nandadulal Rakkhit was taken out of the car, in handcuffs. He was made to stand in front of the check post. He related what happened there on the night of 31 July. Members of RAB put up a barricade on the road and recreated the scene as described by Nandadulal Rakkhit.

When the RAB members took Pradip from there towards the check post, the people began to shout out. Pradip looked around, but remained silent.

Then, as on the night of the incident, a white car drove up to the check post from the direction of Teknaf. Someone emerged from the car and went behind it. Then another person came up in front of the car, took aim with a gun, shouting, “hands up!” Then another person (acting as Sinha) got out of the car with his hands up in the air. Then he fell to the ground. He was shot four times. Nandadulal Rakkhit pointed out where Sinha fell after being shot. The people present at the spot, as well as media persons, watched this enactment.

Nandadulal was sent back into the vehicle and another vehicle drew up from which emerged Liaqat Ali, the main accused in the Sinha killing case. The RAB investigators took Liaqat Ali a few yards away to the south, near the bridge. Also in handcuffs, Liaqat Ali narrated the events of that night.

Finally OC Pradeep Kumar Das was taken out of another vehicle. His vehicle was at a distance (to the north) from the check post, near the under-construction petrol pump. When the RAB members took Pradeep from there towards the check post, the people began to shout out. Pradeep looked around, but remained silent. Then he stood at the check post and also recounted the events of the night to the investigators.

Additional director general (operations) of RAB, Col Tofael Mostafa Sarwar, briefed the media about bringing the accused to the spot of the killing. He said, “We are analysing all the details, from the halting of the car to the shooting. We have come to the spot to determine how the shooting took place within a minute or two, examining every point of the check post, the distance of the barricade, the distance of the eye witnesses and such details. A lot of evidence has been collected as to whether Sinha drew his gun or not, why Liaqat fired. All this is being examined.”

Seized items handed over

The police have handed over to the investigating agency RAB, 29 items seized from the Nilima Resort, including the laptop of Sinha’s associate Shipra Debnath and other electronic devices. Under court orders, the seized items were collected from the Ramu police station at Thursday midnight by RAB’s additional superintendant of police, Biman Chandra Karmakar. This was confirmed by the OC of Ramu police station, Abul Khair.

ASP Biman Chandra Karmakar said that 29 items including a laptop, hard disk and Tk 200,000 hand been handed over to RAB. After investigations it would be revealed whether these devices had been used or not.

Shipra’s lawyer Mahbubul Alam said that after Shipra was detained, police seized her laptop, device (cell phone) and pen drive from Nilima Resort. He said that her personal pictures were taken from there, edited in an objectionable manner and made public on the social media.

According to sources in the court, following an appeal from RAB, on 19 August Cox’s Bazar senior judicial magistrate Tamanna Farah, ordered the police to hand over 29 seized items to RAB, including Shipra’s computer, had disk, laptop and device. On 18 August RAB took Pradeep Kumar Das, Liaqat Ali and Nandadulal Rakkhit on remand.

Former army major Sinha Md Rashed Khan had been shot dead by police at the Shamlapur check post while he was returning by the Marine Drive to Nilima Resort after spending the day filming for a video at the Marishbunia hills. Police detained Shahedul Islam Sifat who was with Sinha at the time. They later arrested Shipra Debnath from Nilima Resort. Both Sifat and Shipra have been released on bail.

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Among the 10 arrested in the Sinha killing case, RAB interrogated seven persons, each put on a seven-day remand. They are police SI Liton Miah, constables Safanur Karim, Kamal Hossain and Abdullah Al Mamun, and witnesses in the cases filed by the police, Nurul Amin, Nizam Uddin and Mohammed Aiyaz of the village Marishbunia. Three others detained in the case, Armed Police Battalion (APBn) member SI Md Shahjahan, constables Md Rajib and Md Abdullah are in RAB custody on seven-day remand. These three were present at the check post on the day of the incident.