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Foreign minister AK Abdul Momen on Tuesday said suspended sub-inspector Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan is a matter of shame for the police.

In-charge of Bandarbazar police outpost SI Akbar Hossain and three other policemen were suspended on 12 October in connection with the death of Raihan Ahmed, 34, in police custody in Sylhet.

The minister further said Akbar Hossain Bhuiyan, who remained fugitive since the incident on 11 October, will be brought back home even if he has fled abroad.

Momen said this at a media briefing after visiting the residence of Raihan Ahmed in Akhalia area of Sylhet.

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“I think SI Akbar is in the country. We’ve issued ared alert along the border so that he cannot flee the country. We brought back the killer of minor Rajon from Saudi Arabia. Akbar will be arrested even if he manages to flee abroad,” the minister said.

The police did not try to take any unscrupulous step of not filing a case. It is very unfortunate that Raihan has died. I pray that such a heinous incident is never repeated in Sylhet
AK Abdul Momen, Foreign minister

Earlier, the foreign minister assured Raihan’s mother Salma Begum and other family members of the trial of the murder. “I’ve talked to the home minister. Police, RAB all are working for the trial of the murder of your son. You remain assured. The trial of your son’s murder will be held. You’ll get the justice,” the minister told Raihan’s mother.

When the newspersons asked Momen whether police tried to quash the incident of death in custody, the minister said, “The police did not try to take any unscrupulous step of not filing a case. It is very unfortunate that Raihan has died. I pray that such a heinous incident is never repeated in Sylhet.”

Regarding the demonstrations and 72-hour ultimatum over the trial of Raihan’s murder, the minister said, “It would not be proper to enforce hartal over this trial, this issue, at this time of COVID-19. Some people try to create trouble. Don’t encourage them. The government is more than ready. There will be a trial.”

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Regarding the allegation that police helped Akbar flee after his suspension, Momen said, “We’re investigating this as well. There will be trial too if anyone helped Akbar to flee.”

The foreign minister showed annoyance when newspersons asked him as a local MP what would be his steps to the allegation against police of collecting thousands of taka as 'toll' every month. He said, “Will you raise all the issues on earth! Not all are innocent in our country. Some are good and some are bad. It is the same with police force too. Akbar is a shame for the police. Laws are there as there are bad people everywhere.”

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Momen reached Sylhet from Dhaka by a Biman flight. He went to the home of Raihan directly from Osmani International Airport. Later he left Sylhet for Dhaka.

News agency UNB adds: Members of Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI) arrested constable Titu Chandra Das, who was suspended over the death of Raihan at Bandarbazar police outpost, from Sylhet police lines today.

Superintendent of police in Sylhet Khalekuzzaman said the PBI members arrested Titu from the police lines in the morning.

This is the first arrest made by police after the death of Raihan Ahmed.

Later, Sylhet additional chief metropolitan magistrate Zihadur Rahman placed Titu on a five-day remand when police produced him before the court in the afternoon.

On 11 October, Raihan Ahmed, 34, a resident of Akharia in Sylhet, was beaten to death in police custody, said the family of the victim.

His wife Tahmina Akter Tanni filed a case with Kotwali police station on the following day accusing a number of unidentified people.

The authorities on 12 October suspended four policemen, including the in-charge of Bandarbazar police outpost sub-inspector Akbar Hossain, in connection with the death.

Three policemen have been withdrawn in this connection on the same day.

Police rejected the allegation of in custody death and said Raihan was caught by locals of Kastghar area during robbery and was lynched. However, no such CCTV footage of lynching was found.

The case has been transferred to the Police Bureau of Investigation.