A police officer was arrested on Saturday for allegedly masterminding the murder of a businessman in Dhaka recently.
Assistant sub-inspector (ASI) of Shyampur police station Nur Alam reportedly planned to kill businessman Yunus Hawladar after taking Tk 300,000 from him to drop his name from a case, according to the police.
On 25 June, the police recovered Yunus' body from Hasnabad area of Keraniganj. The same day, Yunus' son Atikuzzaman filed a case against unidentified persons.
The police arrested Ohid Suman, 27, a tenant of Yunus and another named Saber aka Shamim, 43, of Jatrabari area.
Suman confessed his involvement in the killing, in his deposition recorded in a Dhaka court and termed SI Nur Alam the mastermind of the murder.
Keranigonj police arrested Nur Alam on Saturday night after withdrawing him from duty.
Sub-inspector of Keraniganj police station and investigation officer of the case, Golam Mustafa, told Prothom Alo that they interrogated Nur Alam on Saturday night.
The police have also sought a five-day remand for SI Nur Alam, said officer-in-charge of South Keraniganj police station Shah Zaman.
Accused police officer Nur Alam, however, claimed his innocence while talking with Prothom Alo on Saturday afternoon.
How it all started
Yunus was a businessman of agricultural machinery in Nawabpur, Old Dhaka. Around 10 years ago, he retired from his business. Father of three sons and two daughters, Yunus owned two houses in Shyampur.
On 19 January, police raided one of Yunus’ houses and arrested five tenants from there.
A human trafficking case was filed then and Yunus was charged with permitting prostitution in his house.
Yunus took bail from the High Court but sought help of his tenant and BRTA office’s middleman Suman to get the case dropped.
Suman asked Yunus to consult with ASI Nur Alam regarding the case.
According to the deposition given by Suman in court, Nur Alam asked for Tk 300,000 from Yunus to clear him from the case and the businessman agreed.
Yunus Hawladar’s wife Marufa said, her husband was devastated after being indicted in the 'false' case and tried to have his name removed from the case by any means.
Marufa was confident that Yunus would be free from the charges and asked her husband not to get involved in any sort of deal.
How Yunus was murdered
Ohid Suman in his statement said, ASI Nur Alam introduced him to Shamim.
The ASI asked Suman to bring businessman Yunus and Tk 300,000 to the BRTA office in Ikuria. South Keraniganj.
Suman along with Yunus reached there around 10:00pm on 24 June.
He informed them that ASI Nur Alam would not come as he was on duty somewhere else and asked them to board a CNG-run auto-rickshaw. Then, all three went to Basundhara Residential Area where Shamim grabbed the bag of money, stabbed Yunus to death and dumped his body there.
The auto-rickshaw brought them back to Shyampur where they met ASI Nur Alam. He took the bag from Shamim, gave him Tk 2,000 and asked him to leave.
Sub-inspector Nazrul Islam, investigation officer of the human trafficking case under Shyampur police station said, the charge sheet was submitted on May accusing six persons including Yunus. But neither ASI Nur Alam nor Yunus ever contacted him about dropping Yunus' name from the case.
Yunus’ son Atikuzzaman said that the businessman talked with family members around 11:30pm over mobile phone but his phone was found switched off around 12:00am on 25 June.
Yunus' wife Marufa said that she had called Suman after finding her husband's phone switched off but he said he had been in Shanir Akhra area to visit an ailing relative.
However, the call record of Suman’s mobile phone shows he was in South Keraniganj area at that moment. Suman talked several times with Nur Alam that day.
Suman was arrested from Bagerhat on 11 July and confessed his involvement with the Yunus killing on 12 July.
Mastermind ASI Nur Alam’s statement
ASI Nur Alam told Prothom Alo that Suman was his informant but he did not know Shamim. Investigators however said Shamim was actually Nur Alam's informant.
Nur Alam also claimed that the statement made by Suman in the court was totally false.
Investigation officer SI Golam Mustafa told Prothom Alo on Saturday that Nur Alam’s involvement in the murder was proved in investigation.
Police superintendent of Dhaka Shah Mizan Shafiur Rahman told Prothom Alo that no one involved in the killing would be spared but the family of Yunus fears they may not get justice as a policeman himself is involved with the murder.
*This report, published in Prothom Alo, has been rewritten in English by Galib Ashraf.