It has been a year since Mahmuda Khanam Mitu, the wife of former superintendent of police (SP) Babul Akter, was brutally stabbed and fatally shot by assailants while dropping their son off to school in broad daylight but no motive for the murder has yet been discovered.
Babul Akter filed a case accusing unidentified persons with Panchlaish police station the following day and the investigations into the case have now turned towards a family feud, according to police.
After failing to find the actual motive behind Mitu’s murder, police told the Dhaka Tribune that she was murdered out of a personal vendetta by someone she probably knew.
Police have yet to arrest the prime accused in the case, Musa who has been on the run since the murder, and therefore cannot identify the mastermind behind the whole case, police said.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune, Additional Deputy Commissioner (ADC) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police’s (CMP) Detective Branch (DB) Mohammed Kamruzzaman said: “Our investigation has revealed that Mitu was murdered by someone with a vendetta against her or her husband. We have to find and arrest Kamrul Islam Musa alias Musa Sikdar for more information.”
However, CMP Commissioner Iqbal Bahar said: “We have made significant headway into our investigation. We will submit the charge sheet of the case by July.”
ADC Kamruzzaman, also the investigation officer of the murder case, said: “Our investigation is still going on and we are trying our best to arrest Musa.”
Kamrul Islam Musa, the main accused in the murder, was an informant of Babul Akter which he revealed during his confession on December 27 last year.
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Police had investigated several motives for Mitu’s murder. Initially investigators said militants might have settled a score against Babul as he led several successful anti-terrorism drives.
Later, investigators said the killers were all professional and Musa had hired them and had plotted Mitu’s murder.
Police have so far arrested five accused in the murder case including two who were directly involved in the murder – Anwar, Motaleb Mia Wasim, Shahjahan Mia, Musa’s brother Saiful Islam Saku, and firearms supplier Ehteshamul Haque Bhola.
Two others, Musa and Kalu, are still on the run.
On June 26, 2016, Anwar and Wasim gave their confessional statements under Section 164 of the Penal Code before a court in Chittagong implicating Musa and several others in the murder.
On July 5, 2016, two of the accused Nurul Islam Rashed and Nur Nabi, were killed in a gunfight with police in Chittagong.
Police recovered the two firearms – a 7.65 foreign pistol and a 0.32 bore revolver from Ehteshamul Haque Bhola while Mitu’s mobile and SIM card was also recovered from a rickshaw puller in Bhola on February 15.
Since the murder, CMP has issued a red alert in all land and airports for Musa and Kalu with a bounty of Tk5 lakh for Musa.
However, Musa’s wife Panna Akhter claimed that police in plain clothes had picked him and his brother Saku up from a house in Bandar area on June 22. A claim that police has repeatedly denied.
On June 25 last year, Babul Akter was picked up from his father-in-law house in Dhaka and questioned in the police custody in connection with his wife murder for 15 hours.
Babul was later relieved of his duty on September 6, 2016.
Five special committees were formed by police to investigate the murder case.
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Former SP Babul Akter the husband of Mitu told Dhaka Tribune on Sunday: “I left my in-laws place to give my children a proper upbringing, but this action of mine has been gravely misunderstood.”
“After Mitu’s death, we were living with my in-laws in Dhaka. At first they were very supportive. I got at job at Ad-din Hospital and moved my family to a new place so my children can be closer to school and find some peace.
“My relationship with my in-laws took a sour turn with them making defamatory claims online about my personal life. I felt it best to remove myself and my children from their home.”
“I know know police conduct their investigations and I have no comments regarding the case before the investigation is complete,” he added.
Panna Akter: Police know where my husband is
Panna Akter, wife of Kamrul Islam Musa alias Musa Sikdar, the prime accused of Mahmuda Khanam Mitu murder case, claimed police know the whereabouts of her husband as he was picked up by police in plain clothes earlier.
“Nezam Uddin, inspector of the then immigration police, arrested by husband. He knows where my husband is,” Panna said.
Nezam Uddin was in the committee formed for the intelligence for Mitu’s murder.
CMP’s Commissioner Iqbal Bahar refuted her claim saying: “Musa planned the murder and hired all the killers. He is now on the run and once we arrest him the motive behind the murder would be clear.”
Musa’s wife however said she had his passport and he could not have left the country.
“I went to one of my relative’s house in city’s Bandar with my children and my brother-in-law Saiful Islam Saku on June 22 last year where Musa was picked by plain clothed policemen there that day,” Panna claimed.