Eyewitness account: How journalist Rabbani was killed

Golam Rabbani Nadim

An eyewitness narrated how journalist Golam Rabbani based in Bakshiganj upazila in Jamalpur was killed on his way home by his motorbike. On the day he was attacked, at 10:15 pm on Wednesday, a local journalist, Al Mujaheed, accompanied him on a separate motorbike. They were returning home via Pathati intersection of the upazila.

The CCTV footage shows them on two motorbikes.      

Al Mujaheed, Bakshiganj correspondent of two local newspapers: 'Jobabdihi' and 'Desh Bangla,' was acquainted with Golam Rabbani.   

Al Mujaheed told Prothom Alo that the miscreants first pulled Rabbani down to the ground from his moving bike. Then he was taken forcibly to dark place of T&T road. Some 15 to 20 miscreants, already there, started beating him up mercilessly. And the prime accused Mahmudul Alam alias Babu, chairman of Sadhurpara union parishad (UP) was directing them at a distance from the scene.

At one stage, an attacker broke off a brick from the wall. The chairman son hit Golam Rabbani with the brick. The journalist repeatedly begged for his life, but in vain. They swooped down on him mercilessly. Later they left the scene, leaving him unconscious.

The eyewitness and locals said certain reports of Golam Rabbani aggrieved the chairman. He threatened the journalist on several occasions. On Wednesday, Golam Rabbani went to Mymensingh in the morning and returned home in the evening. Then he visited his office. From the office, he approached a shop to have paan (betel leaf) -- where he met Al Muzaheed.  

Al Mujaheed said it is the chairman who premeditated the murder.

Rabbani was taken to the T&T road, at the north side of the intersection, where the chairman took position earlier along with other accomplices. Some 15 to 20 goons beat him up brutally on a dimly lit stretch of the road, until he fainted.

Later, they went to the nearby residence of the chairman leaving him for dead, he said, adding the goons presumably selected the road due to its proximity to the residence.  

Al Mujaheed used to call Rabbani 'Uncle'. He took an attempt to save his uncle from the attack, but he was also threatened with death. 

"Being panic-stricken, I could do nothing (to save him). I phoned our fellows and asked them to come," he added. 

Sohel Rana, officer-in-charge (OC) of Bakshiganj police station, said they received no such statement from Al Mujaheed. "We have the CCTV footage. Also, some people were present on the scene. Those who are involved in the incident will surely be identified through investigation."

The OC also said they have already apprehended six people for their suspected c0nnection with the murder. He expressed firm determination to identify all those involved and bring them to book.    

However, the prime suspect, chairman Mahmudul Alam, and his family members have been in hiding since the incident and could not be reached for comment over the allegation.