Pallabi murder: Ex-MP Awal's involvement found

Islami Ganatantri Party chairman MA Awal
File photo

The Police Bureau of Investigation (PIB) has submitted a charge sheet in connection with killing Shahinuddin, 33, at daylight in Mirpur in the capital Dhaka two years ago.

According to the charge sheet, the murder was carried out at the instigation of Lakshmipur-1 constituency former member of parliament MA Awal.

PIB on Thursday submitted the charge sheet implicating 16 people including former MP Awal after conducting further investigation in the Shahinuddin murder case.

MA Awal is now on bail.

He is chairman of Islami Ganatantrik Party. He has formed a political alliance 'Pragatishil Islami Jote' to contest in the next national election. The alliance of 15 parties was launched on Wednesday in the capital. They want to stay with the government. Awal is the chairman of the alliance.

On 16 May 2021, Shahinuddin was hacked to death due to a land dispute in front of his 6-year-old child on Ceramics Road of Mirpur-12.

PIB, Detective Branch of police, Rapid Action Battalion sources said they got an audio clip in connection with this murder. "Sir, finish," is heard on the audio clip of a killer speaking to Awal over the phone.

Checking this conversation, police and RAB confirm the voice is of Shumon Bepari. He is an accused in Shahinuddin murder.

Murder over land dispute

Officials, who are involved in the investigation, said the government acquired land of a number of families including Shahinuddin at Ali Nagar adjacent to Burirtek in Pallabi of Mirpur after 1975. However, the land remained empty for a long time.

Former MP Awal was familiar with those whose lands were acquired. The original land owners sought help from Awal to get back their land. But Awal grabbed the land and established a housing project.

Awal implemented the project through his own firm Haveli Property Development Limited.

There is an allegation that Awal formed a criminal gang of 15-20 people to retain the grabbed land.

Investigators also said Shahinuddin broke a boundary wall of a plot of Awal's housing project for failure to get back the land ahead of 20 days of the murder. As a result, Awal hired killers and killed Shahinuddin by them.

On 17 May 2021, Shahinuddin's mother filed a murder case with Pallabi thana.

After Pallabi thana police and DB, the case was handed over to PBI for further investigation. After carrying out the investigation, PBI submitted the charge sheet after one and half years.

Immediately after the incident, Manik was killed in a reported gunfight with RAB and Monir was killed in a reported gunfight with DB for 'direct involvement' in the Shahinuddin murder.

The accused in the charge sheet are: Mohammad Taher, 48, Md Shumon Bapari, 34, Md Murad, 24, Titu Sheikh, 32, Golam Kibria, 50, Md Ibrahim Shumon alias Baoa Shumon, 31, Shafiqul Islam alias Shafiq, 26, Raki Talukder Raki, 26, Noor Mohammad Hasan, 20, Iqbal Hossain alias Iqbal Noor, 20, Md Sharif, 21, Tariqul Islam alias Imon, 24, Tuhin Mia, 20, Harunur Rashid alias Harun, 20 and Pratik Ahmed alias Sajeeb, 33.
PIB sources said of the accused, one is absconding. Others are on bail.

Plaintiff will file a 'naraji' (no confidence motion)

Plaintiff Shahinuddin's mother Mosammat Aklima on Saturday alleged Awal, who is on bail in Shahinuddin murder case, is trying to grab their house. After killing her younger son, he is now plotting to kill her elder son.
Disclosing the filing a general diary over the threat with Pallabi police station, Aklima said, "We are facing insecurity due to disturbances inflicted by accomplices of Awal."

Aklima also said the investigation officer informed her about the submission of a charge sheet in connection with murder of her son.
She said she doesn't accept this charge sheet as one of the main killers has been dropped from the charge sheet.

Speaking to Prothom Alo, Shahinuddin's elder brother Mainuddin said, they will file a 'naraji' petition (no confidence motion) at the court against the charge sheet of PIB.
Meanwhile, former MP Awal claimed he was implicated through conspiracy.

The allegation of threat Shahinuddin's mother made the police have not found any proof of that and submitted a report in that regard.
Awal said, "I have formed a new alliance to contest in the parliament election. I formed the Islami Ganatantri Party in 2019. I am the chairman of it. I have formed a political alliance Pragatishil Islami Jote and I am chairman of it."

Charge sheet submitted based on proof

PBI said Awal was involved in the murder and he has been named in the charge sheet.

Investigation officer in the case and PIB inspector Md Monir Hossain said former MP Awal has been interrogated in the remand.

During the investigation, proof of involvement of 16 people including Awal has been found and the charge sheet has been given against them.
He said nine accused have given confessional statements in the court.

*This report, originally published in Prothom Alo print and online editions, has been rewritten in English by Rabiul Islam