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Rifat murder: Were Nayan Bond and Rifat Sharif police sources?

  • Published at 12:55 am August 3rd, 2019
Nayan Bond-Sabbir Hossain Nayan
Sabbir Hossain Nayan Collected

Nayan, killed in a “gunfight” with police on July 2, was the prime accused in the case over the murder of Rifat Sharif on June 26

Fresh evidence has raised questions over the relationship between Nayan Bond, Rifat Sharif, and their affiliation with local law enforcement.

Nayan, killed in a “gunfight” with police on July 2, was the prime accused in the case over the murder of Rifat Sharif on June 26.

Video footage and testimonies from several Barguna residents have painted a daunting picture of the impunity enjoyed by Sabbir Hossain Nayan, alias Nayan Bond. According to several of Nayan’s confidants, including his mother, he was a source for the police. The claim has not been confirmed by Barguna police, who said the identities of sources are never made public.

Maruf Hossain, superintendent of police in Barguna, told Dhaka Tribune: “Confidential informants are confidential by definition. As per the law, I cannot ask one of my officers to identify his source.”

In a poorly-lit video recorded on a mobile phone, Rifat is seen being arrested by the police for possession of cannabis. In the video, the person recording tells Rifat that the arrest is retaliation for having him detained by the Detective Branch for eight days. Rifat responds by rebuffing the remark.

Also Read- Rifat Murder: Inside Nayan Bond’s social media groups

A police officer can be heard saying that he did not charge Rifat before, when he was caught with a prostitute.

The informal and familiar tone between the person recording, and Rifat heavily hints that they are familiar with each other, and also on good terms with law enforcement.

Media outlets have quoted eyewitnesses as saying that the video was recorded by Nayan.

Police deny Rifat, Nayan were sources

Several police officers have denied that Nayan was their source, but offered that he may have worked with other police officers. The officers who arrested Rifat in the video have been identified as Sub-Inspector Asaduzzaman, Sub-Inspector Kazi Obaidur Rahman, and Assistant Sub-Inspector Sohel Khan.

Rifat’s father Dulal Sharif has alleged that the arrest was staged by the police in collusion with Nayan and Rifat’s wife Ayesha Siddiqa Minni. Dulal also claimed that the person who spoke to Rifat in the video was Nayan.

Nayan’s mother Shahida Akhter said the police regularly contacted him, and even visited his home.

When contacted, SI Kazi Obaidur denied meeting Rifat before the arrest. However, he said there are a lot of police officers working at the station, and Rifat may have worked with one or more of them as a source.

Also Read- Are power game, drugs behind Rifat murder?

A small-time drug dealer in Barguna told Dhaka Tribune that police sources turn on other criminals, and in turn enjoy various facilities from the police, including impunity to an extent.

Nayan had seven cases filed against him, including possession of narcotics, and firearms. It is unclear whether his affiliation with the police was a factor in keeping him out of jail, despite the pending cases. 

Jesmin Akter, a Barguna municipal councillor, alleged that Nayan’s accomplices had attempted to rob her son in October 2018, but were detained by locals. However, before the robbers could be handed over to the police, Nayan intimidated the crowd, and took them away. When she complained to the police, SM Masud Uz Zaman, the officer-in-charge of Barguna sadar police, instead asked her to locate the criminals.

A senior member of the Barguna unit of the ruling party said Nayan was handed over to the police by a municipal councillor last year. However, a top local leader of the ruling party reportedly hauled him off the police van to prevent legal action.

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