Accused Jubo League leader arrested

Posted on November 15, 2011


Detectives in the capital last night arrested Narsingdi town unit Jubo League president Ashraf Hossain, an accused in the Lokman Hossain murder case.

Ashraf is the first among the 14 accused killers to be arrested, more than two weeks after the sensational killing of the Narsingdi municipality mayor.

He is the 11th accused in the case.

According to the case statement, he was the first to shoot Lokman. The three other assailants are Mia Mohammad Manjur, Amir Hossain Amu and Mamun — all Awami League leaders.

Posts and Telecommunications Minister Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju’s younger brother Salauddin Ahmed is the prime accused.

Ashraf, brother of former district unit AL vice president and former Narsingdi mayor Abdul Matin, was arrested from a relative’s house at Jheelpar in South Khilgaon around 8:00pm.

Senior Assistant Commissioner of DB police Sanwar Hossain told The Daily Star that Ashraf had admitted his involvement in the killing.

“Mobarok Hossain Moba [deputy publicity secretary of district AL] was one of those who planned the murder,” Sanwar quoted Ashraf as saying.

“Ashraf was the first to shoot my bother,” Lokman’s brother Kamruzzaman told The Daily Star last night. He said Lokman told him this on their way to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, hours before he died.

Ashraf was handed over to Narsingdi police late last night, said Sanwar Hossain.

DB officials said a large amount of money had changed hands for the murder, and Mobarak sought Ashraf’s help five to six times in the killing.

Several groups involved in Narsingdi politics teamed up to kill Lokman, officials added.

Ashraf had made more than 10 attempts to kill Lokman, his family told The Daily Star last night.

He wanted to kill Lokman as the latter had defeated Ashraf’s brother in the 2004 mayoral election in the district, they added.

Police earlier arrested Narsingdi district Jubo League committee member Masudur Rahman Tippon and Haji Mohammad Selim of Narsingdi in connection with the November 1 killing. However, none of the two was made an accused in the case filed by Lokman’s family.

Meanwhile, friends and family of Lokman yesterday reacted sharply over police not arresting Raju’s brother Salauddin and two others who went to the High Court to seek anticipatory bail on Monday.

The two others were Murad Ahmed, assistant personal secretary to the telecommunications minister, and Montaz Uddin Bhuiyan, a Narsingdi Awami League leader.

The court, however, did not grant them bail, saying, “We are prisoners of conscience. Bail cannot be granted.”

Expressing frustration, Lokman’s family called on Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to sack Raju in the interest of a fair investigation.

“It is now clear that Rajiuddin Ahmed Raju is playing a role to influence the investigation. We, therefore, urge the prime minister to axe him from the cabinet,” Kamruzzaman told reporters.

Earlier on many occasions, family members alleged the telecommunications minister and his brother were behind the killing.

Abdul Matin Bhuiyan, general secretary of Narsingdi district AL, said the law enforcement agencies failed to arrest the three from the HC premises when they went there to seek bail.

Tofazzel Hossain, general secretary of Narsingdi district BNP, also echoed the view of Fazlul and Matin.

“It was clear that the administration and police involved in the investigation of Lokman Hossain murder were not acting neutrally,” he added.

Meanwhile, Inspector General of Police Hassan Mahmood Khandaker at a press briefing yesterday said arresting an accused is not always possible for “strategic reasons” or for lack of time.

The police chief made the comment when reporters asked him why the three top accused in the case had not been arrested.

Hassan was briefing journalists after attending a cabinet meeting on law and order at the home ministry.

The issue of the three top accused, who are “fugitive” according to the police, not being arrested has triggered controversy.

Meanwhile, Superintendent of Police of Narsingdi Khandakar Mohid Uddin said they have obtained important information from Masudur Rahman Tippon, one of the main suspects in the murder.

But, he declined to elaborate “for the sake of the investigation”.

Masudur was placed on an eight-day remand on Sunday.

Posted in: Bangladesh