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CID makes breakthrough in clueless murder probe

The dept comes in after local police, PBI submit final report

Published : 21 Jun 2020 09:59 PM | Updated : 04 Sep 2020 11:07 PM

Anwar Hossain Anu, a member of a banned left-leaning extremist group from Valki village under Harinakundu Upazila of Jhenaidah district, was slaughtered four years ago. After the murder, local police investigated the case and arrested one accused but eventually the investigation officer (IO) submitted final report to the court as the police failed to find any clue to the murder.

Later the investigation task in the case was transferred to Police Bureau of Investigation (PBI), the specialised investigation unit of Bangladesh Police. PBI investigator Sub-Inspector Ismail Hossain arrested another person in connection with the murder. But like the local police, the PBI officer submitted final report after failing to unearth the murder mystery. 

According to the case documents, Harinakundu police arrested Osman Gani while PBI arrested Ayub Ali. Both the suspects had to spend several months in jail.

A Jhenaidah court later granted them bails as no evidence of their involvement in the murder was found.

Since two separate investigation agencies failed to identify and arrest any killers, Beauty Begum, widow of slain Anu, appealed for re-investigation, promoting the court to order Criminal Investigation Department (CID), another specialised unit of police, to launch fresh probe.

Here comes the breakthrough of the investigation.CID finally unearthed the clue to the murder of Anu, who was accused in a murder case.

CID arrested three suspected killers -- Saheb Ali, Shaheen Kabir alias Jhalak and Rashidur Islam. However, the identified mastermind yet to be nabbed. 

Talking to Bangladesh Post on Saturday night, Special Superintendent of Jhenaidah CID Reshma Sharmin confirmed the arrests.

According to the case statement, on the evening of February 3 in 2016, miscreants brought victim Anu to a paddy field at his own village. They tied his hands and legs and then slaughtered him. They left the body on the field. 

Beauty lodged a murder case with Harinakundu police station. 

After the investigation task was transferred to CID, Reshma Sharmin appointed SI Masudur Rahman to investigate the case.

SI Masud started to gather information in guise of farmers, sometimes as hawker in different areas of Jhenaidah district. But as most of the accused are very notorious, local people were not interested to disclose any information about them.

At one stage, SI Masud managed to gather key information taking risk of live and finally identified the prime accused. But he could not arrest him without taking all evidence at his hand. 

The mastermind was a close relative of slain Anu. But he was acting like a true well-wisher of the victim. 

Both Harinakundu police and PBI sought his help while investigating the murder case. The two agencies even made him witness in the case documents. He visited CID’s local office several times with a mission to divert the case into wrong direction like previous investigations.

As part of gathering evidence against the mastermind, SI Masud first arrested Saheb Ali, who himself took slain Anu from his residence. No killers fled their homes only other than ‘weak hearted’ Saheb Ali.

After his arrest, CID officials interrogated him. But he did not want to disclose anything about the murder. But he looked very nervous and was taking water again and again, giving the investigation officer the clue that Saheb Ali knew all about the murder. At one stage of interrogation in CID custody, he disclosed everything.

He disclosed that a close relative of victim Anu told him to cunningly bring him to the village field.

After the victim was brought to the field, three accused grabbed him. They tied his hands and legs. Fugitive mastermind and Kuti sat on the chest of Anu. Then professional killer Jhalak slaughtered him. 

After the murder, the mastermind acted as the well-wisher of the family. He cried madly to prove he was deeply shocked at the murder. He participated in the funeral. He also acted that he is working to ensure justice. He was handling the case through one of his close lawyer so that he can divert the case at his own will.

Local police and PBI took him as a witness. But he could not hide his crime from the CID police. SI Masud Rana said that with the help of SI Selim Reza, they first arrested Saheb Ali on June 17 from Jhaudia Bazar in Kushtia district.

Saheb Ali has already given his confessional statement before the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate of Jhenaidah District Tania Binte Zahid confessing that he was involved in the murder.

“Based on his information, we conducted a special operation led by Inspector Tofazzal Hossain to arrest the remaining fugitives. At one stage, we arrested the hired killers Jhalak and Kuti,” he said.

According to the local sources, the two accused in the case -- Jhalak and Kuti and slain Anu were once members of a banned extremist group. 

Hakim Ali, Anu's elder brother, was also a leader of the extremist group. About 20 years ago, a rival group shot dead Hakim. Family members of Osman Gani and Ayub Ali, who were arrested during police and PBI investigations, were accused in the case.

Anu, Jhalak and Kuti were allegedly involved in killing extremist leader Golam Ali in 2003. Anu was arrested and stayed in prison for few months in connection with the murder.

Talking to this correspondent, Beauty, wife of Anu and her college-going son Sohan Hossain said the previous investigation officers took ‘bribes’ to save the real killers.

SI Ismail Hossain of PBI, however, denied the allegation of taking bribes.

Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of CID Shaikh Nazmul Alam termed the unearthing of the murder mystery a big success of his department.

Appreciating his colleagues, especially SS Reshma Sharmin and SI Masud, he said, “We take every investigation as a challenge. We put emphasis on it and finally earn success.”