3 more suspects held, 2 others put on remand

The police could not yet arrest any of the assailants who killed prominent Rohingya leader Mohib Ullah but captured at least five  suspects who might have ‘link’ to or ‘assistance’ in the assassination that triggered condemnation at home and abroad.

Mohib was shot dead at his make-shift office in the Kutupalang camp in Cox’s Bazar on September 29.

Home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Sunday told reporters at the secretariat that the situation in the camps was stable, but arms had been smuggled from Myanmar in the past to disturb the situation in the camp.

Investigations would find out who were involved in the killing and they would shortly be brought to justice, he added.

Responding to a question, he said that some foreign agency might have a hand in the incident.

As of Sunday evening, the Armed Police Battalion has arrested five suspects.

Cox’s Bazar Senior Judicial Magistrate Tamanna Farah on Sunday remanded two of the arrested, Mohammad Selim, 30, and Shawkat Ullah, 23, for three days each for interrogation.

The police arrested two suspects, Ziaur Rahman, and Abdus Salam, in the Kutupalong camp area on Saturday, and both of them were now in jail custody.

According to the APBn Unit-14, they arrested another suspect, Mohammad Elias, 35, at Camp-5 at about noon on Sunday.

Case investigating officer sub-inspector Kartik Chandra Pal of the Ukhia police station said that the ‘assailants’ had left the camp area after the shooting incident on September 29.

APBn Unit-14 commanding officer Naimul Huq also could not confirm whether any of the four suspects held earlier were members of the killer team but said that they were involved in the attack by conducting surveillance of and sharing information about Mohib’s office.

Mohib’s family and witnesses told the police that about two dozen assailants had been present during the shooting incident, who hurriedly left the spot following the incident.

Mohib’s brother Habib Ullah on September 30 filed a case with the Ukhia police station against a number of unidentified people in connection with the murder though he had initially blamed the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army for the attack.

The ARSA, formerly known as Harakah Al Yaqeen, in statements, denied the allegation and blamed ‘trans-boundary’ criminal groups for the murder.

In his complaint, Habib said that his brother Mohib had not compromised with any extremist group and continued his struggle for peace under the banner of the Arakan Rohingya Society for Peace and Human Rights.

Cox’s Bazar additional superintendent of police (administration) Md Rafikul Islam on Sunday said that they were investigating the case based on the statement submitted by the complainant.

Rights groups, including Ain o Salish Kendra, have meanwhile, demanded a fair investigation into the killing.

Human Rights Forum Bangladesh, a platform of human rights-oriented NGOs, expressed deep condolences to the bereaved family and placed five-point demands.

The rights forum called for strengthening security in the camp area and exposing the killers and their mastermind.

They also called for initiating a high-level independent inquiry and completing the inquiry within a reasonable period and making public the inquiry report.

Mohib, 46, who was displaced along with his family and took shelter in Bangladesh following a military crackdown on the Rohingyas in Myanmar, was widely known for his peaceful work and struggle to ensure the rights of and justice for his community.

Diplomats from the United States and the United Kingdom, international rights groups and political parties, among others, sought justice through a fair investigation into the murder incident.

A former schoolteacher, Mohib rose to prominence after his organisation held a grand rally on August 25, 2019 on the second anniversary of the military crackdown on the Rohingyas. The rally was attended by an estimated 1,00,000 Rohingyas.

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