Two years of Major Sinha’s murder

Abdul Aziz, Cox’s Bazar

Sinha Md Rashed Khan

On the night of July 31, 2020, Maj (retd) Sinha Md Rashed Khan was killed in a police firing at Shamlapur checkpost of Baharchhara union of Teknaf upazila in Cox’s Bazar.

The next day, police filed two cases at Teknaf police station and one at Ramu police station.

Sinha’s partner Saidul Islam Sifat was accused in these two cases filed at Teknaf police station.

Besides, in the case filed under the Narcotics Act at Ramu police station, Sinha’s other partner, Shipra Debnath, was made an accused.

On August 5, 2020, Sinha’s elder sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous filed a case against nine policemen with Cox’s Bazar court.

Liaqat Ali, the former in-charge inspector of Teknaf’s Baharchhara Police Investigation Centre, was made the main accused in the case.

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The other accused in the case was Pradeep Kumar Das, suspended officer-in-charge (OC) of Teknaf police station.

On the morning of August 6, 2020, the case was registered at Teknaf Police Station and handed over to Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) for investigation.

At the same time, the court also ordered the RAB to investigate the three cases filed by the police.

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Later in the afternoon, seven out of nine accused in the case surrendered to the court.

Members of the then Police Investigation Centre– Sub-Inspector (SI) Nanda Dulal Rakshit, constable Safanur Karim, constable Kamal Hussain, constable Abdullah Al Mamun, Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) Liton Mia, SI Tutul and constable Mohammad Mostafa.

On that day, it was claimed by the police that no policeman named Senior Inspector Tutul and constable Mohammad Mostafa was working in the district police. The investigating officer (IO) of the case applied to the court for remand for different periods for questioning the surrendered accused.

On August 11, during the investigation of the fourth case, the three witnesses of the case– Nurul Amin, Mohammad Ayaz and Nizam Uddin – filed by the police were arrested.

They were later handed over to the court. The IO also applied for their 10-day remand.

On September 14, RAB arrested constable Rubel Sharma and handed him over to the court.

The IO filed a remand request in court on the same day for questioning him. He interrogated the 14 accused in jail on remand for different periods.

Among them, except OC Pradeep Kumar Das and constable Rubel Sharma, the other 12 accused gave a confessional statement in the court.

On December 13, Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Khairul Islam of RAB-13 Cox’s Bazar Battalion filed a charge sheet in the court accusing 15 people.

While 14 of the accused were in jail, Teknaf police constable Sagar Dev was absconding.

As many as 83 people were witnessed in the charge sheet. On the same day, the final report of three cases filed by the police was submitted.

On December 31, the court accepted the charge sheet and issued an arrest warrant against Sagor Dev.

At the same time, the court accepted the final report of three cases filed by the police and exempted Saidul Islam Sifat and Shipra Debnath from the case.

Later, the case was transferred from the court of Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah to the court of District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Ismail Hossain.

Then on June 24, 2021, the absconding accused constable Sagor Dev surrendered in court.

The court ordered him to be sent to jail on the same day.

On June 27, the court ordered the trial against 15 accused. The court also fixed the date from July 26-28 for taking the testimony.

However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the trial proceedings of the court were suspended.

Later, from August 23 to December 1, 65 out of 83 people gave evidence in eight rounds.

Then on December 6 and 7, the accused gave a statement to the court under section 342 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Finally, from January 9 to 12, 2022, the lawyers of both sides presented arguments in the case.

On the last day of the presentation of arguments, the court fixed January 31 as the day to announce the verdict in the case.

Later on January 31, Judge Mohammad Ismail announced the verdict of this case in the afternoon.

Among the 15 accused in the case, two were sentenced to death, six to life and seven acquitted.

The two sentenced to death are suspended OC Pradeep Kumar Das and Liaqat Ali.

SI Nand Dulal Rakshit, constable Sagor Dev, Rubel Sharma, police sources Nurul Amin, Nizam Uddin and Ayaz Uddin were jailed for life.

Besides, the seven acquitted from the case are Armed Police Battalion (APBn) SI Shahjahan Ali, constables Md Rajib, Md Abdullah, police constables Safanul Karim, Kamal Hussain, Abdullah Al Mamun and ASI Liton Miah.

Besides, after Major Sinha was killed, the Ministry of Home Affairs formed a five-member investigation committee.

After the investigation, the committee submitted a report to the ministry. However, it was not revealed what kind of content was mentioned in that investigation report.

Meanwhile, more than 1,500 policemen including the superintendent of police of Cox’s Bazar were transferred to other places and new policemen were posted there.

After two years, Mohammad Jahangir, the plaintiff’s lawyer, said, after the judgment of the case, all the documents of the court were sent to the High Court.

He mentioned: “At the same time, two appeals were filed in the High Court on behalf of those sentenced to death. At the same time, the state’s side had a point of appeal regarding those who were acquitted.

“The state was supposed to appeal. Hearing of such appeals normally takes time. Now waiting to see when the court holds hearing of the case.”

He hoped that the judgment of the lower court will be upheld in the Higher Court. “The nation will watch a massively debated murder trial.”

The plaintiff in the case, Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous, told reporters that the case is under appeal in the High Court.

“We are satisfied with the progress of the case so far. Now it is important to confirm the trial by hearing the High Court quickly. And those who have been acquitted, they are also preparing to appeal. I hope the High Court will give justice to my brother’s murder by conducting a speedy hearing,” she observed.

Public Prosecutor of Cox’s Bazar District and Sessions Judge’s Court Faridul Alam said that the state side’s appeal against the acquitted ends on July 31.

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“However, we appealed to the High Court to speed up the hearing of the appeals of those sentenced to death and ensure its trial,” he continued