Home minister unsure of reason behind ‘gunfight,’ as Rifat’s family demands immediate arrest of other killers
Sabbir Ahmed Nayan alias Nayan Bond, the prime accused in the Rifat Sharif murder case, was killed in a reported gunfight with police in Barguna.
The “gunfight” took place in Purakata area of the Burirchar union around 4:15am on Tuesday, according to the police.
Reacting to the news of the gunfight, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal later in the day said that he did not know yet how the “gunfight” ensued and why Nayan ended up dead as its result.
Barguna’s Superintendent of Police (SP) Maruf Hossain said, acting on a tip-off, a police team raided the Purkata ferry terminal area to arrest Nayan around 3am.
Nayan and his cohorts opened fire at the police team after seeing them, triggering a firefight. Nayan was killed on the spot after police returned fire in defence.
Nayan’s accomplices, however, managed to flee the scene after exchanging fire with the police for about 30 minutes, said SP Maruf. “Raids will continue to arrest them.”
He said four police officers had also sustained minor injuries during the incident.
Apart from Nayan’s body, police later recovered a gun, a bullet, two shotgun cartridges and three sharp weapons from the scene.
Sadar police OC Abir Mohammad Hossain also handed over Nayan's body to his uncle Mizanur Rahman after an autopsy at the Barguna General Hospital around 3pm on Tuesday.
Nayan was buried in the family graveyard at his grandfather’s home in the Burirkhal village under the Fuljhuri union around 5pm.
Mizanur said: “We didn’t want any trouble. That’s why we buried him here. What he did was atrocious without any doubt, now Allah will judge him for that.”
Nayan and several others hacked to death Rifat Sharif, 22, near the Barguna Government College in the district town, in broad daylight, on June 26.
A video clip of the murder, which took place in front of Rifat’s wife Ayesha Siddiqua Minni, quickly went viral and sparked mass outrage across the country.
The police have, to date, arrested nine suspects over the killing. Four of them are among the 12 people named in a case filed at the Sadar police station by Rifat's father Dulal Sharif. The five others were taken into custody for their suspected involvement in the murder.
Home minister pledges swift justice
Talking to reporters in Dhaka on Tuesday, the home minister said that Nayan was not in one location for long. “Our intelligence and security forces were always onto the three murderers. We did catch two of them quickly, but Nayan was on the run and continuously changing location.”
Asked whether police could have arrested him alive, Asaduzzaman said he was yet to know the reason behind the Barguna “gunfight” and how it led to Nayan’s death.
He said: “He must have been carrying a firearm or fired it in an attempt to hide. That’s why police may have done this [gunfight], for security and in self-defence.”
The minister further said that police would track down the influential people, if there were any, behind the killing. “You have seen that no one is getting a free pass — not any influential individual and not even elected public representatives.”
“We will thoroughly investigate and identify those behind the killing. We do not want such incidents to be repeated in Bangladesh,” he added.
‘Arrest the others’
Meanwhile, the family of Rifat Sharif has demanded arrest of the other perpetrators and exemplary punishment of everyone involved in the gruesome murder.
Sharing his anguish, Rifat's father Dulal said: “They crippled me by killing my son. These drug addicts have cut down my whole life.
”I have nothing left now."
He added: “Exemplary punishment of the killers may bring some relief to my disheartened life only.”
Rifat's wife Ayesha, who had tried to save her husband from Nayan and the other attackers, said: “I pray to the almighty for the punishment of all the offenders so that no wife has to lose her husband like I did.”