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Pradeep, Liakat sentenced to death for killing Major Sinha

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A Cox’s Bazar court has handed down death penalty to former Teknaf Police Station OC Pradip Kumar Das, former sub-inspector Liakat Ali for killing retired Bangladesh Army Major Sinha Md Rashed Khan on July 31, 2020.

The District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Ismail pronounced the verdict in presence of all 15 accused at the courtroom on Monday.

The court also sentenced sub-inspector Nanda Dulal Rakshit, constable Rubel Sharma, ASI Sagar Deb, Nurul Amin, Nezam Uddin and Mohammad Ayaz Uddin to life imprisonment.

The seven other accused including Armed Police Battalion (APBn) sub-inspector Mohammad Shahjahan, constables Mohammad Rajib and Mohammad Abdullah were acquitted from the case as the charges framed against them were not proved

At night on July 31, 2020, Major (Retd) Sinha Md Rashed Khan was killed in police firing at Baharchhara police check-post on Marine Drive Road in Teknaf upazila of Cox’s Bazar district.

The 36-year-old former army officer, who served at the Special Security Force tasked with guarding the president and prime minister, had gone into early retirement to pursue his interests.

He had been staying at a resort in Cox’s Bazar’s Himchhari with three others for around a month to film a travel documentary.

Sources said Pradeep Kumar Das ordered as many as 144 extrajudicial killings during 22 months in the name of eliminating drug dealers when he was Teknaf Police Station OC. The incidents left 204 people dead. All the victims of extrajudicial killings were described as ‘drug dealers’ by Pradeep following their brutal murders.

On August 5–five days after the incident, Sinha’s elder sister Sharmin Shahriar Ferdous filed a murder case with Teknaf Senior Judicial Magistrate Court, accusing former Teknaf Police Station OC Pradeep Kumar Das, sub-inspector Nandadul and seven others.

Besides, police also filed three cases (Two at Teknaf Police Station and one at Ramu Police Station) being the plaintiff.

The four cases were later handed over to the RAB-15 for investigation.

Later, on August 6, 2020, seven policemen, including Pradip and Liakat, surrendered to the court. They were also suspended from their jobs.

During the investigation, the RAB-15 arrested seven more people including three local villagers, three members of Armed Police Battalion (APBn) and OC Pradeep’s bodyguard as their involvement was found in Sinha murder.

Later, on June 24, 2020, chargesheeted accused constable Sagar Deb surrendered to the court. With his surrender, all the 15 accused were brought under law.

On December 13, 2020, investigation officer and RAB-15 Cox’s Bazar’s senior assistant police super Md Khairul Islam submitted charge-sheet in the case to the court, accusing 15 persons including OC Pradeep Kumar Das and Liakat.

In the charge-sheet, the investigation officer termed Sinha murder as a “planned and cold-blooded murder” mentioning the names of 83 persons as witnesses.

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