OC Pradeep confirmed Sinha’s death by stepping on his throat, witness says

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The formal proceeding of the Sinha murder case began on 23 August after the recording of testimonies remained halted since July due to the suspension of court proceedings amid a countrywide lockdown.

News Desk

As wounded Retired Major Sinha Mohammad Rashed Khan lay on the ground asking for water, former Teknaf Police Station officer-in-charge Pradeep Kumar Das stepped on his throat and throttled him to confirm his death.

Sahidul Islam Sifat, the plaintiff and key witness in Sinha’s murder case, made the statement on Wednesday after the formal proceedings of the Sinha murder trial began at the Cox’s Bazar District and Sessions Judge’s Court at 10:30am on 23 August.

Sifat said, “OC Pradeep came to the scene after Sinha was shot by inspector Liaquat Ali. First, he verbally abused Sinha and then started to kick him in the chest when he realised that Sinha was still breathing.

“He (Sinha) was asking for water but Pradeep stepped on his throat to ensure his death,” he said, adding that Pradeep later beat him (Sifat) inside the check post.

Demanding exemplary punishment for those involved, Sinha’s sister Sharmin Ferdous said an audio conversation of Inspector Liaquat after killing Sinha was proof of the brutal murder. In the conversation, Liaquat called someone and said, “Come quick. One target is down, another held”.

She further mentioned that Liaquat instructed police to intimidate the people around so they did not dare to help Sinha or take pictures or videos of the incident.

Earlier, the formal proceeding of the Sinha murder case began on 23 August after the recording of testimonies remained halted since July due to the suspension of court proceedings amid a countrywide lockdown.

According to public prosecutor Faridul Alam, the court scheduled three days in a row till 15 August after summoning 15 out of 83 witnesses to testify in the case.

The witnesses who received the notice to testify before the court are Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous; Sahidul Islam Sifat; Mohammad Ali of Minabazar area of Teknaf; Mohammad Abdul Hamid of Shamlapur area; Mohammad Yunus; Firoz Mahmud; Mahibullah, Mohammad Amin; Mohammad Kamal Hossain; Mohammad Shawkat Ali; Sergeant Ayub Ali of Ramu Cantonment Mohammad; Shipra Debnath; 2 doctors from Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital Shaheen Abdur Rahman Chowdhury and Randhir Debnath; and Hafeez Zahirul Islam from Marishbunia village in Baharchhara, Teknaf.

However, it took the court three days to only record testimony and complete cross-examination of the two main witnesses – Major Sinha’s sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous and prime witness Sahidul Islam Sifat.

The court, therefore, has fixed 5-8 September to record the statement of the rest of the 12 witnesses, Assistant Public Prosecutor (PP) at the session judge’s court Faridul Alam confirmed.

Meanwhile, four police officials have been removed from duty on 25 August after former Teknaf Pollice Station Officer-in-Charge Pradeep Kumar Das, the prime accused of Sinha murder case, was found using mobile device at court. A probe committee will also be formed to investigate the incident.

Major Sinha (Retd) was shot dead by the police at the Shamlapur police check post under Baharchhara union in Teknaf Upazila on July 31 last year.

Sinha’s sister filed a murder case with the Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate’s Court accusing nine people, including then OC Pradeep and inspector Liakat Ali on August 5. All nine policemen accused were dismissed from the force.

Senior Assistant Superintendent of Police Mohammad Khairul Islam, investigating officer of RAB-15, filed the chargesheet in the case on December 13 last year, accusing 15 people and naming 83 witnesses, after more than four months of investigation.

The accused in the case include suspended inspector of Baharchhara police outpost Liakat Ali, OC of Teknaf police station Pradeep Kumar Das, Rubel Sharma, bodyguard, Teknaf Police Station SI Nandadulal Rakshit, ASI Liton Mia, constables Safanur Karim, Kamal Hossain, Abdullah Al Mamun, Sagar Deb, Md Rajiv and Md Abdullah, and SI of APBN Md Shahjahan.

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