Wednesday, September 16, 2009

An Investigation

Fact-finding Report by Odhikar.

By Bangladesh Media; Non-government organization Odhikar tried to find out different Cross fired, Soot Out, Gun Fight or Encounters, which took place  in different spots in Bangladesh. We publish some of them for our readers.

Kaiser Mahmud Bappi: 

Allegedly Shot to Death by RAB-
Spot: Rampura in Dhaka

At around 12.30am on September 10, 2009, a team of RAB officers, led by Flight Lieutenant Raihan Asgar Khan, the Operations Officer of RAB 1, conducted a raid at the newly-built Aftab Tower, located at 323 Purba Rampura, Dhaka. It was alleged by the members of the family of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi (24), a resident of the House No. 335/6 B, TV Road, that Bappi was shot to death by the RAB members during the raid. According to the family of Bappi, in an attempt to arrest an alleged miscreant named Kamrul Islam Bappi, RAB mistakenly killed Kaiser Mahmud Bappi in alleged crossfire.

Odhikar conducted a fact-finding mission into the incident. During the mission, Odhikar spoke with:
• Relatives of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi
• Witnesses
• A morgue assistant
• The concerned law enforcement agencies

Photo: The body of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi

Shamsunnahar Alam (38), sister of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi

Shamsunnahar Alam told Odhikar that she had been living with her husband, Manzurul Alam, in a rented house at 335/6B, TV Road, Purba Rampura, Dhaka. Bappi had been living with them. She said that Bappi completed his graduation from the Dhaka City College and was preparing to get enrolled for an MBA programme. Bappi would work as model for commercial advertisements on various TV channels. She said that Bappi fasted for the whole day on September 9, 2009 and went out for a walk along the Rampura main road after ifter2. As Bappi did not return home even past 12 in the early morning on September 10, 2009, she took a snap, leaving the front unlocked for him. When she woke up at around 2pm, she saw that Bappi had not returned. She contacted her relatives over the cell phone but nobody could give her any information about Bappi’s whereabouts. Earlier that day, she had learnt from others that RAB had shot and killed a person at the Aftab Tower during an operation and that the body was at the morgue of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. She sent Anisur Rahman Tutu, the husband of her younger sister, to the Hospital morgue where he identified Bappi’s body. Anis said that the post-mortem certificate stated that the deceased was Kamruzzaman Bappi (28). The hospital authority put down the name ‘Kamruzzaman Bappi’, as directed by the RAB and police. Post-mortem of the body was not conducted on September 10 as there was no doctor or magistrate that day.

Her husband Manzurul Alam went to the hospital in the morning of September 11, 2009 and received the body at 2.15pm after the post-mortem. At around 5pm, Alam took Bappi’s body to Noumahal, 72/I, Haji Jonab Ali Road in Mymensingh where Bappi’s mother lived. The body was buried in Bappi’s hometown Paranganj in Mymensingh district headquarters at 6pm. She learnt from various people of her locality that while Bappi was standing near the Aftab Tower on his way back home, RAB members asked his name. When Bappi identified himself as Bappi, the RAB members shot him to death without any scrutiny, she alleged. When contacted, an officer from the office of RAB 1 told Manzurul Alam that Bappi was a member of the Jissan Group, led by Jissan who was allegedly a listed miscreant of Rampura. After RAB carried out a raid based on a tip off, Bappi was killed in crossfire at one point of a shoot-out with the RAB. 

Shamsunnahar Alam said that the Bappi, who was a listed criminal of Rampura, was Kamruzzaman Bappi and he was absconding. There were cases against Kamruzzaman Bappi in various police stations. She clarified that her brother’s name had been Kaiser Mahmud Bappi. She claimed that there was no General Diary or complaint filed against her brother Bappi with any police station.

She stated that during the raid on September 10, 2009, the RAB members shot and killed her brother as his last name was the same as that of Kamruzzaman Bappi. She demanded justice through proper investigation into the incident.

Manzurul Alam, husband of Bappi’s sister
Manzurul Alam said that at around 11.30pm on September 9, 2009, he talked with Bappi over the telephone from his office and told him to buy milk from a shop and come home. When he returned home at around 12.30am on September 10, 2009, his wife informed him that Bappi had left home in the evening and that he had not yet returned home. He called Bappi’s cell phone number but found it switched off. They thought that since Bappi fasted throughout the day, he would come back after a walk. When they woke up at around 4am, they found that had not returned. Later in the morning, they searched for Bappi in their locality. When they contacted Bappi’s friend, Habib, he informed them that he had heard from others that Bappi had been killed in ‘crossfire’ during a raid conducted by RAB at the Aftab Tower.

On hearing the news, Manzurul sent his relative, Anis, to the Dhaka Medical College Hospital. At around 8.45am, Anis saw Bappi’s body at the morgue and confirmed Bappi’s death. Then they, along with their relatives, went to the morgue of Dhaka Medical College Hospital. At around 2pm, they learnt that a post-mortem of Bappi’s body was not carried out as police was not present there. He recalled that the body was lying on the floor and it was bearing 13 bullet wounds. Then a member of the police came from the Rampura Police Station and told the hospital authority to conduct the post-mortem. However, the doctor told them that the post-mortem Odhikar fact-finding report/Rampura/Dhaka/10 September 2009/Pg 3 could not be carried out without the permission of a Magistrate. Since the Magistrate was not present at the court that day, post-mortem was not carried out. After a Magistrate prepared the inquest report of the body in the morning of September 11, 2009, Doctor AKM Shafiuzzaman, a lecturer of the Department of Forensic Medicine, conducted the post-mortem. Manzurul said that the post-mortem certificate stated that the deceased was ‘Kamruzzaman Bappi’, aged 28, with his father unidentified.

The post-mortem was numbered 1769/09 and dated September 11, 2009. He received Bappi’s body at 2.15pm and took the body to Noumahal, 72/I Haji Jonab Ali Road in Bappi’s hometown of Mymensingh. He said that the body was then taken to Paranganj and buried at around 6pm. He claimed that the statements the RAB and the police had made to the media, were sheer lies and absolutely unfounded. He informed Odhikar that the name of his wife’s brother was Kaiser Mahmud Bappi and that there was no case or General Diary filed at any police station. He claimed that Bappi was never involved in any criminal act. He also claimed that the RAB had mistakenly shot Bappi to death.

A witness claiming to be anonymous
A security guard at the Aftab Tower said that his acquaintance Bappi and 2/3 other people often would go to the tea stall next to the Aftab Tower to have tea and cigarettes. He and another guard were on duty at the Tower on the night of September 9, 2009. The witness said that Bappi and two other people went to the tea stall at around 11.30pm. At around 12.30am, somebody asked him from outside to open the main gate. 

Opening the main gate, he saw three people in RAB uniform. Three men told him that miscreants were inside the building and then began to search with their torches. Soon after the RAB men started firing. He said that Bappi was probably shot dead on the spot during the firing. The RAB men arrested two others named Abid and Masud from there and hit them in the head, waist and legs with rods, bricks and sticks. Abid and Masud kept screaming. In the mean time, a number of vehicles with law enforcers came. When newsmen came at around 3.30am, the RAB men briefed them. The police from the Rampura Police Station took into their custody the body of Bappi and two others who were arrested. He informed that RAB members had taken him to the RAB office several times following the incident and recorded his statement. He feared that the RAB might take him again for interrogation. That was why he refused to give any more information and his name

Major Mohammad Sakhawat Hossain, Deputy Director, Legal and Media Wing, RAB
Forces Headquarters, Dhaka

Major Mohammad Sakhawat Hossain stated that on September 9, 2009, RAB 1received information from a source that Kamrul Islam alias Bappi alias Miabhai, the Second-in-Command of the Jissan Group and also a wanted criminal and 4 or 5 other criminals, including another listed criminal Masud alias Chashma Masud, his associate, were preparing to commit a major crime on the ground floor of Aftab Tower at 323 Purba Rampura. Acting upon the information, RAB 1 increased its detective monitoring in that area. In line with the detectives, at around 12.30am on September 9, 2009, a RAB team, led by Flight Lieutenant Raihan Asgar Khan, the Operations Officer of RAB 1, arrived at the Aftab Tower. He said that when the RAB members were climbing up the stairs, the criminals sensed the presence of the law enforcers and opened fire on them. This forced the RAB members to take strategic positions and retaliate for self-defence and saving public property. At one point of the shooout, RAB arrested a criminal named Abid Hossain alias Shoikat (30), son of Mohammad Odhikar fact-finding report/Rampura/Dhaka/10 September 2009/Pg 4 Faruk Hossain, from the village of Abdullah Pur under the Tongibari Police Station in Munshiganj. When the RAB team moved again to go upstairs with Faruk in their custody, the criminals opened fire again, injuring RAB officer SI Rokon Uddin. The RAB team fired back and it led to a shoot-out for around 20 minutes between the RAB and the criminals. In the mean time, two patrol teams from RAB 3 and Rampura Police Station arrived at the place of the incident and surrounded the Tower. 

He said that at that time Masud alias Chashma Masud (27) tried to jump from the building to flee but he was arrested with the help of the members of RAB 3 and the police positioned on the ground floor. Local people gathered at the place of the incident on hearing the gunshots. When the situation became normal, the RAB members conducted a search of the area. The RAB officer claimed that a foreign-made revolver, two rounds of revolver bullets and a cartridge of shotgun were recovered through the search. They also saw a body nearby. Later on, local residents and the police identified the body as being Kamrul Islam alias Bappi alias Miabhai (23), son of late Jasim Uddin, from the village of 72 South Boundary (Hajibari) in Mymensingh district headquarters. He said that the RAB had got information that the deceased Kamrul and his accomplices Abid and Masud had been involved in various criminal acts, including murder, mugging and extortion in the Rampura, Bansree and Meradia areas. Major Hossain also claimed to have been informed by the local residents that Bappi was involved in the murder of one Mobarak in DIT Project in South Badda.

He said that SI Nazrul Islam from RAB 1 filed a case at the Rampura Police Station against Abid and Masud under section 19 (Ka) of the Arms Act. The case was filed on September 10, 2009 and was  numbered 13. SI Nazrul filed another case against Abid and Masud for obstructing the law enforcers in the course of their duty and for attempt murder. The case was numbered 14 and was filed on September 10, 2009, under sections 332/333/353/307/302/34 of the Penal Code.

SI Mohammad Sarowar Hossain, Rampura Police Station, 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Dhaka

SI Mohammad Sarowar Hossain told Odhikar that SI Mohammad Nazrul Islam from RAB 1 had filed two cases regarding the incident in which Bappi had been killed on September 10, 2009 and that Abid and Masud were accused in those cases. The cases were numbered 13 and 14. He was first assigned to the investigation into the cases. Later on, SI Farid from RAB 1 took the responsibility of the investigation of case 13 while SI Jalal from RAB 1 was assigned to the investigation of case 14.

SI Shyamal Chandra Dhar Rampura Police Station, 

Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Dhaka
SI Shyamal Chandra Dhar said that of the two cases filed in connection with the incident in which Bappi was killed on September 10,2009, SI Farid submitted the Charge Sheet of the case numbered 13 on October 18, 2009, accusing Abid and Masud. The Charge Sheet was numbered 38. He said that SI Farid was later transferred from the Rampura Police Station.

SI Jalal Uddin, RAB 1, Uttara, Dhaka
SI Jalal stated that the investigation into the case numbered 14 was in progress. He said that he could not make any comment until the investigation was done.

Sekender, morgue assistant, Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Dhaka
Odhikar fact-finding report/Rampura/Dhaka/10 September 2009/Pg 5 Sekender told Odhikar that a team of police from the Rampura Police Station brought in the body of a man named Kamruzzaman Bappi (28) on September 10, 2009. He said that due to the day being a holiday and several other problems, the post-mortem of the body could not be conducted on September 10. Sekender informed Odhikar that at around 11am on September 11, 2009, Doctor AKM Shafiuzzaman, a Lecturer from the Department of Forensic Medicine, carried out the post-mortem. The morgue assistant said that there were several bullet wounds on the body. He finished his talk with Odhikar by saying that Manzurul Alam, the husband of Bappi’s sister, received the body from the hospital morgue at around 2.15pm.

Odhikar urges that the Government take legal proceedings against those involved in the killing of Kaiser Mahmud Bappi through an impartial, judicial investigation.

Follow up: January 16, 2010
Manjurul Alam, husband of Bappi’s sister
On January 16, 2010, Manjurul Alam told Odhikar that at 12.30 am on September 10, 2009 Flight Lieutenant Raihan Asgar Khan, Operation Officer of RAB-1 carried out an operation during which he killed his brother-in-law Kaiser Mahmud Bappi. Following Bappi’s murder, the Commanding Officer of RAB-1, Lieutenant Colonel Md. Rashedul Alam sent a letter to Manjurul and five others to come to his office. The letter was signed by Senior Assistant Police Super Kaji Muttaki Ibnu Minan and it was dated December 17, 2009. The letter asked them to meet Sub Inspector Jalal Uddin on December 30, 2009 at RAB-1, RRF Bhaban, Uttara. As instructed by the letter, Bappi’s four brothers in laws went at the stated place. They were Manjurul himself, Anisur Rahman, Maruf Hossain Bipul, Idris Ali Konok and Bappi’s maternal uncle Rafiqul Islam. SI Jalal Uddin asked them some questions regarding the case number 14 filed at the at the Rampura Police Station on 10/09/2009.

Major Md. Shakhawat Hossain, Deputy Director, Legal and Media Wing, RAB Forces
Headquarter, Dhaka
Major Shakhawat Hossain informed Odhikar on January 17, 2009 that SI Jalal Uddin has been investigating the case number 14 concerning Bappi’s killing which was filed by SI Md. Nazrul Islam of RAB-1 on 10/09/2009.

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