Bishwajit Murder Stabber captured
Father who wanted son to be punished dies an hour after his arrest
Ansar Ali Khalifa, father of Rafiqul Islam Shakil who hacked Bishwajit Das with a machete, died of cardiac arrest yesterday morning, an hour after police nabbed Shakil.
On hearing the news of the arrest, Ansar felt serious chest pain around 6:00am and was taken to Barisal Medical College Hospital where doctors declared him dead, family sources said.
Ansar, 65, had been ill since December 9, the day he saw on television his son hacking Bishwajit, an innocent tailor, at Johnson Road in the capital during the early hours of the opposition blockade.
Two days after the murder, Ansar told The Daily Star that he wanted to see his son get punished for his brutal act, and added: “I could not believe what I watched on television. I knew that my son was engaged in student politics but I didn’t know he became such a danger man.”
Relatives said Ansar was too shocked to bear the pain of what his son has done.
With the arrest of Shakil around 5:00am yesterday, the number of arrestees in the murder case rose to ten.
According to The Daily Star’s own investigation, Rafiqul Islam Shakil is a second-year student of Islamic history at Jagannath University. Photos and video footage of the murder show Shakil hacking Bishwajit in the hand and other parts of the body with a machete.
Police said they arrested Shakil from a relative’s house in Barguna through tracking his mobile calls. He was brought to Dhaka after the arrest.
Nurul Islam, officer-in-charge of Bakerganj Police Station, quoting Shakil said he was a BCL activist and that he indeed hacked Bishwajit not thinking that the victim would die.
Shakil’s admission (though this paper could not independently verify it) is in direct contrast with the Chhatra League and government claim.
The government and the BCL, the pro-Awami League student wing, maintain Chhatra League has no link with the murder but The Daily Star in its own investigation identified at least 15 people who directly took part in the murder are BCL activists of the JnU campus unit.
Earlier on December 13, detectives arrested three suspects while the four others held on December 11 were shown arrested in the murder case filed with Sutrapur Police Station. On Friday, police nabbed two more accused.
SAIFUL, SHAON REMANDED
Meanwhile, a Dhaka court yesterday placed Saiful Islam and Rasheduzzaman Shaon, two suspects who were arrested on Friday, on an eight-day remand each.
Mahbubul Alam Akand, a sub-inspector of Sutrapur Police Station and also the investigation officer (IO) of the case, produced the duo before the Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate’s court.
The remand petition said Saiful and Shaon swooped on Bishwajit and indiscriminately beat him. The IO also said police identified the duo through their photographs and video clippings of the incident ran in the media.
During the primary interrogation, Saiful and Shaon also confessed to their involvement in the killing, police officials told The Daily Star.
Amid this backdrop of arrest, State Minister for Law Quamrul Islam told the BBC Bangla dialogue said, the killers of Bishwajit would be tried under speedy trial.
COPS-DOCS UNDER FIRE
Meanwhile, National Human Rights Commission Chairman Mizanur Rahman has blamed police members and hospital authority’s negligence for Bishwajit’s death.
Bishwajit was attacked in front of the police but they did not save him while the hospital authorities failed to play their due roles when the victim was taken to the hospital, the NHRC boss told reporters in the capital yesterday.
He also assured Bishwajit’s family that the NHRC would do everything it could to ensure justice.
Also yesterday, Transparency International Bangladesh demanded judicial probe into the brutal murder and punishment of the perpetrators.
“Although the identities of the killers of Bishwajit are clear to the countrymen, the government is making unacceptable and motivated remarks, which is tantamount to conspiring to keep the criminals above law,” TIB Executive Director Iftekharuzzaman said.
He added: “It would be suicidal for the government if it does not ensure stern punishment of those responsible, leaving behind the debate over the attackers’ political link.”